Artistes will be dropping albums back to back as they promised, and some of them are making a reappearance after disappearing from the spotlight for quite a while. It is hard to tell if the impact they will have towards the public will be the same as before, considering the fact that the music industry in Kenya has become more competitive than ever before.
The award-winning hip-hop artiste Juliani is making a re-appearance on the scene. An icon who is full of mad energy will be releasing an album this year, although he hasn't revealed any specific information about the album or the timeline of what would be his fifth studio album. His previous albums, such as Mtaa Mentality which was released in 2008, had heavy hitters like Eric Wainaina and Kanji Mbugua. He has also released Pulpit Kwa Streets, Exponential Potential and Juliani Masterpiece.
Daddy Owen is another gospel artiste whose album might claim back his spotlight this year. He has four albums to his name: Saluti, System ya Kapungala, Son of Man and Haijaisha. He is popularly known for Tobina which featured Danco. Daddy Owen has scooped several awards, including the Groove Awards male artiste of the year, and various gongs at the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) and Kisima Awards.
Angel Bernard has also promised an album this year. The prophetic worshipper has not failed to show consistency since her album release since 2016, and with songs such as Ni Wewe and I Surrender, you can tell that she is not stopping any time now.
Cedo, a hit maker who works with the likes of King Kaka, Frasha, Nyashinski, Sauti Sol, Avril, H_Art the Band, Gilad, Amos and Josh, Naiboi and Kristoff, has let his name speak for itself in the industry. As far as music is concerned, he has proven to be one of the best.
Naiboi is also about three weeks away from dropping his next album. In a telephone interview, a source involved in the project confirmed that the album, which goes by the name WISER, will be released on February 26, which happens to be Naiboi's birthday. The artiste was recently in the United States on a musical tour.
It also looks like the Ethic group are not done yet with the industry after they released a brand new track called Soko on January 13. In typical fashion, the song has come with its own fair share of controversy. Social media was abuzz with rumours that the new track is apparently not theirs after a video made the rounds of the ‘original’ track. Unperturbed, plans are underway to release the Soko video on Valentine’s Day.
Sauti Sol is another force to reckon with in the music industry. Last year, however, the Afro pop band did not release any album, but took part in nurturing some of their very own artistes, that is, Sol Generation. But four weeks into the new year and Sauti Sol has already landed a major recording deal with Universal Music Group. They have also prepared their fans for their upcoming album, which goes by the name Midnight Train. They haven't released much detail about it, though, but it is expected to drop this year and has been put together by a producer from Kenya and another one from Zimbabwe.
It is also encouraging to see that albums are being appreciated more in Kenya compared to back in the day when an artiste was recognised by only one track. The sound that is being created by our very own has made the industry unique and led to tremendous growth.
We have more upcoming artistes, and better platforms for musicians to sell their content - though we still have a long way to go as an industry.
And now that some of our legendary musicians are coming back into the scene, are they going to come at us with the energy they had before? Only time will tell.