Nairobi - Society and Culture - Music

Music

Nairobi is the centre of the Kenyan music scene. Benga is a Kenyan genre which was developed in Nairobi. The genre is a fusion of jazz and Luo music forms.

In the 1970s, Nairobi became the prominent centre for East and Central African music. During this period, Nairobi was established as a hub of soukous music. This genre was born in Kinshasa and Brazzaville. After the political climate in the region deteriorated, many Congolese artists relocated to Nairobi. Artists such as Orchestra Super Mazembe moved from Congo to Nairobi and found great success. Virgin records became aware of the popularity of the genre and signed recording contracts with several soukous artists.

More recently, Nairobi has become the centre of the Kenyan hip hop scene. The genre has become very popular amongst local youth, and domestic musicians have become some of the most popular in the region. Successful artists based in Nairobi include Jua Cali, Nonini, and Nameless. Record labels include Ogopa DJs and Calif Records.

Many foreign musicians who tour Africa perform in Nairobi. Bob Marley's first-ever visit to Africa started in Nairobi. Acts that have performed in Nairobi include Wyclef Jean, Shaggy, Akon, Sean Paul, Wayne Wonder, Alaine, Ja Rule, and Morgan Heritage, and Cabo Snoop. Other international musicians who have performed in Nairobi include the rocking show by Don Carlos and the Elephant man crew.

Nairobi, including the coastal towns of Mombasa and Diani, have recently become the centre of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) in Kenya, which includes Trance, Techno, House, Progressive, Drum & Bass, and Dubstep. Prominent international composers & DJs have graced their presence in these cities, including Kyau & Albert, Solarity, Ronski Speed, and Boom Jinx. Many nightclubs in and around the city have witnessed a growth in the population that exclusively listen to Electronic Dance Music, especially amongst the younger generations. These youth also support many local EDM producers & DJs, such as Jahawi, Mikhail Kuzi, and the like. Gospel music is also very popular in Nairobi just as in the rest of Kenya, with gospel artistes having a great impact in the mostly Christian city. Artistes such as Esther Wahome, Eunice Njeri, the late Angela Chibalonza and others have a great pull over the general population while others like MOG have great influence over the younger generation. Their concerts are also very popular and they have as much influence as the great secular artistes.

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Famous quotes containing the word music:

    Did the kiss of Mother Mary
    Put that music in her face?
    Yet she goes with footstep wary,
    Full of earth’s old timid grace.
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)

    Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
    A box where sweets compacted lie;
    My music shows ye have your closes,
    And all must die.
    George Herbert (1593–1633)

    We often love to think now of the life of men on beaches,—at least in midsummer, when the weather is serene; their sunny lives on the sand, amid the beach-grass and bayberries, their companion a cow, their wealth a jag of driftwood or a few beach plums, and their music the surf and the peep of the beech-bird.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)