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Kenyan Music: The Evolution of Gengetone

The Kenyan music industry has been creating hits for the longest time with different genres of music making heat waves. The industry in the early 2000s was known for the Gngetone genre, which saw two major production studios battling for the top spot. Calif Records and Ogopa DJS were the main production teams of the early 2000s.


If you listened to music back then Gengetone was most definitely something you were into. The likes of Juakali, Nameless, Major, and Wahu were some of our favourite celebrities we listened to. As time passed the genre saw an untimely decline.

This was mainly due to the influence of the international music market that was first evolving and the urge for change grew in the Kenyan industry. This did not last long with Gengetone making a comeback between 2016 and 2017 with the likes of Sailors, Ethic, and Boondocks Gang making music that hit numbers in the country.

The hot comeback of Gengetone saw Kenyan music grow with the emergence of a Kenyan dance style called Odi. Gengetone has for many generations been a way for young Kenyan youth to come together and celebrate our rich musical heritage.

Gengeton has now evolved into an urban tone a mush up of Gengetone with urban beats. This new genre has been popularised with new artists such as Lilimaina, Mandi, and Breeder among others.

The growth of the industry has a long way to go with the release of new genres of music all over the world. My anticipation to see where Gengetone will go next grows with the pursuit of time.

The Kenyan industry is one full of potential that has not yet been fully taped into. The group Sauti Soul has grown to carry the Kenyan flag high and wide, with the growth of other musical groups being one Kenyans are waiting on.


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