Otile Brown on why Kenyan musicians are less popular than Nigerian

R&B singer Otile Brown was forced to retract his prior statements that the Swahili language prevented Kenyan singers from becoming well-known internationally after receiving a reaction on social media.

Otile Brown
Otile Brown. Photo/Courtesy

Otile Brown, whose real name is Jacob Obunga, had previously stated that singing in Swahili might actually work against the success of songs since it is not a widely used language.

“Some of y’all be acting like am downplaying Swahili. Lol! Swahili is my everything it made me who I am today….try to understand what I mean without being confrontational.” The Chaguo la moyo hitmaker stated on his Instagram stories.

He added, “Don’t get it twisted I love and respect Swahili and I believe in it and I will give more music in Swahili….and this conversation it’s for the entire east and central Africa, not Kenya alone you’ve been programmed kuwekea Kenya lawama (to blame Kenya)…if talking global then it’s the whole of east, we got to work to do.”

After renowned actor Nick Mutuma responded to the singer’s comments by saying that since there are around 70 million Swahilis worldwide, we don’t need the world, the singer provided clarification.

Otile responded by saying, “why are we even having this conversation….why are y’all comparing us then cause if that’s the case then we’re doing just fine…”

“The difference between our industry and the Nigerian one is the language because how many songs from East Africa are international, and you can go perform in different crowds? Not many.” Otile said in an interview with Mungai Eve after his trip from the United States.

He went on to remark that since language was the main obstacle standing in the way of Kenyan musicians succeeding, it was unfair to criticize them. He said that if they wanted to succeed, they had to modify their language.

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