The 2010 Channel O Musice Video Awards were held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg last night. It was a hugely disappointing night for Kenyans. We did not bring home a single award despite having Wyre, Nameless & Habida nominated. It would be too easy to say that South Africans and Nigerians are favored by the organizers. I say we take a look at our music industry and figure out what we are doing wrong.
I have a few to start. Why can’t we develop a uniquely Kenyan sound? Don’t shoot the messenger. However, it’s a fact that most Kenyan musicians are satisfied with copying styles from other countries. I, for one would love to see Nameless on a track with an ohangla beat. Or, how about P-Unit hooking up with a mugithi artist to bring a truly Kenyan feel. Genge or Kapuka is not going to cut it on the international scene. The sooner we realize that, the better. Amani is doing a really good job. When I listen to her, I can identify her sound as Kenyan. Look at K’naan. When he sings, you can feel the influence of his heritage. That’s how he’s able to draw in other people, even when blending his music with international styles. Our music should have a broader appeal to people outside Kenya. (more…)