Why Jamaican artists, Bongo, Naija are rushing to Kenya
Nigerian artist Omah Lay recently honored the Kitenge edition of the Pizza and Wine Festival at the Royal Gardenia Gardens. During a press conference, Omah Lay revealed that the two-day festival was driven by its large fan base in Kenya.
“I have a lot of love from Kenya. I have a lot of fans coming from Kenya. I want to connect with my fans. For me, it’s not about the money,” said the Lolo hitmaker.
Elsewhere, award-winning Nigerian highlife singer and songwriter Adekunle Gold delighted fans during a live performance in Nairobi at the Waterfront Karen. That’s not all; Jamaican singer Shauna McKenzie, aka Etana, lit up the stage at the Pamoja festival in Nairobi.
In fact, the list of artists who have graced Kenyan concerts could extend from here to Timbuktu. Let’s not start with those who have booked tickets for the December shows. Chinsea Lee aka Shensea recently confirmed that she is coming to Kenya. The 25-year-old dancehall artist is famous for hits such as Sidechick song, Bad habit and Bad alone.
Other people who packed their bags included Jamaican artist and DJ Andre Hugh Surherland aka Popcaan who will be performing on New Years Eve. Charly Black aka Desmond Mendez announced his planned visit to Kenya through an Instagram video. The Sidung hitmaker will perform on December 31 at Ngong Racecourse. The New Year’s visit will be his first to the country. Romain Virgo, Kranium have also confirmed their intention to visit the country.
What makes Kenya so attractive to Nigerian, Tanzanian and even Jamaican artists? According to the event’s organizer, Eddy Brown, âThey love everything because they feed their ears what Kenyans love to hear; which is dance and this is where Jamaican artists lead. the day because of their style of music which appeals to the Kenyan market “.
Public relations specialist Anyiko Owoko strongly agrees as she believes Kenya is the music hub of East Africa and the entertainment buzz is influencing what’s going on in the industry.
âKenya is also a prime location for international artists who benefit from a larger audience and fan base here,â she said. The Nairobiian.
This love runs so deep that Jamaican artist Garfield Spence aka Konshenz has canceled offers closer to his home to attend a show in Kenya.
âI had four offers for December 31st very close to my home and less hassle, but I chose Kenya. Due to the raw vibe and energy … we love your country and your people and they love us back … “
Some people argue that Kenya’s large fan base is lucrative for international artists who reap huge financial rewards.
“Nobody is trying to milk your country. Your country just has a mad love for all kinds of music,” Konshenz said in response to the claim. âAre you mad at international artists who love your country? He told comedian Eric Omondi who recently pleaded for more airtime for local music.
Some artists like Bien Aime by Sauti Sol silenced these critics. In an interview on Jalang’o TV, Bien called out musicians who reject international artists visiting the country.
“It’s not very African of us to be angry with other Africans who come to make money here … it’s xenophobia,” he said.
The famous singer further urged local artists to develop a global mindset so that they can also advance in their musical careers. He said, “Let Africans come and make money here and you have a global mindset, go and make money in other countries …”
But what do Kenyans really want? international or local shows?
“International artists always win because Kenyans love their sound, especially if they can dance and sing, which ultimately brings in more income than a single Kenyan event in a row,” said event organizer Edgar Kakoyo aka Eddy Brown.
Lately, event planners and artists have been receptive to the fusion of local and international artists. According to Eddy, these shows attract a larger audience.
âIf you mix them up, you appeal to a bigger crowd that we took that route and booked local Kenyan performers as well,â he said. The Nairobiian.