For a very long time I have denied the fact that I am a music lover. And every time someone would ask me to play music (especially in those parties I get invited knowing very well I will embarrass you if I drink alcohol), I never had any music on my phone, except Chela’s voice notes.
Denying myself the chance to experience music in its raw, fulfilling form has turned out so bad. For some time, I decide to take a journey, and listen to Kenyan gems. You have to believe me, the songs I found have sent me on a death sentence; a place I do not want to get out.
I bet these seven Kenyan albums will clique with you this year.
Short Versions, Long Stories- Ethan Muziki
This 2020 release speaks volumes to someone who loves a chilled vibe. The soulful singer has packaged tracks that tell stories in an Afro-fusion genre.
The effects of listening to Rhumba while growing up is felt in this album which contains songs such as Sweet Matunda, Kesho Kutwa, Survive, Witness, Poison, and Sleki.
Leave Me At The Pregame- Maya Amolo
The Kenyan artist based in New York is a star who you should have checked out already. I have to agree with OkayAfrica when they published “Amolo is known for her raspy vocals, soft melodies and thought provoking lyrics.” With songs like I know, Lush Green, I know, Jokes, and Crashing, Leave Me At The Pregame is such a wonderful album.
Confessions Of A Buddie- KaLI
In 2019, Dailyactive listed Kali among the ‘hottest Kenyan musical angels you need to listen to ASAP, alongside Nikita Kering and others.
It is no wonder she caught my attention, Kering. She studied music abroad and that explains the pop vibe. This album is so sweet, I have listened to it numerous times, and so should you. It contains songs such as Falling Out Of Love, Shots, Crew, Love Triangle, Step Aside, Down For Me and many more. It is confession time with this baddie.
Lisa Oduor Noah- Lisa Oduor Noah
A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Lisa Oduor has worked in the music industry for over a decade. She is an independent composer and professional musician who has worked before with Coke Studio and many other brands and individuals.
This album has songs whose vocals have been well-arranged, which sings in English and Dholuo. Some can be used to set the mood for coitus postures while others are good for a relaxed morning, afternoon, or evening. You will find songs like Malo, Alive, Jadala, Jahera, and many more.
Life Before The Apocalypse- Tetu Shani
I’d love to state that I have met Tetu Shani and he is such a vibe. He is an alternative folk artist, guitarist and percussionist. I will continue to wonder why such a talented artist is not circulated heavily on the airwaves.
Life before the apocalypse is a collection of an African voice. His deep voice is arresting and the instrument ear-pleasing. This album contains songs like Upendo, Risky Lips, Where Did We Go Wrong, Cheer Up My Love, among others.
Kitungi3- Manasseh Shalom
I had never listened to Manasseh Shalom but when I did, I promised myself a dose of his music every once in a while.
This is an African singer whose songs captures the rawness of the continent. His vocals are great and he is undeniable an amazing artist. Some of the songs are a real observation of the world of relationships. Others are a caution or a mockery of some behaviors.
Nevertheless, Kitungi3 (I have no idea the inspiration behind this name) is a totally worthy album to listen to. Enjoy tracks like Rhythm of The Land, Wanaume, Slayqueen, Safe and many more.
Expose Yourself- Chemutai Sage
If you have been following the Kenyan music for a very long time then this line makes sense to you: “Living in the sky, don’t care what they say, looking my tap me drinking all day, Ride still we fly till we go Crazy, Dumbala Dumbala e! e! e!”
The lyrics belong to a song done by Jay A featuring Sage, which was later remixed to include MadTraxx, DNA, Visita, and Kenrazy.
When Grandpa Records died, most of the artists seemed to follow suit. And discovering that Sage has been doing music all along is heartwarming.
Through her album, expose yourself is an honest expression of beautiful messages in great vocals. Unlike Dumbala, her style here is chilled. The album contains songs like Love Is All We Need, Maskini, Heaven, Mistakes, etc.
It has been a pleasure serving you these Kenyan gems. As a believer of the existence of good music in Kenya, it will be a shame to let this pass; the opportunity to share with you incredible voices of our land.
These seven albums that you should listen to in 2022 have been carefully selected and presented to you with the purest form of love. Which one is your favorite?