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:

    The great challenge which faces us is to assure that, in our society of big-ness, we do not strangle the voice of creativity, that the rules of the game do not come to overshadow its purpose, that the grand orchestration of society leaves ample room for the man who marches to the music of another drummer.
    Hubert H. Humphrey (1911–1978)

    The further jazz moves away from the stark blue continuum and the collective realities of Afro-American and American life, the more it moves into academic concert-hall lifelessness, which can be replicated by any middle class showing off its music lessons.
    Imamu Amiri Baraka (b. 1934)

    I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man: wine is not so noble a liquor; and think of dashing the hopes of a morning with a cup of warm coffee, or of an evening with a dish of tea! Ah, how low I fall when I am tempted by them! Even music may be intoxicating. Such apparently slight causes destroyed Greece and Rome, and will destroy England and America.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)