Audio

4 Kenyan Producers You Should Be Listening To

These four Kenyan producers are pushing the sounds of Nairobi's experimental hip-hop & electronic scene.

Recently Nairobi witnessed the birth of a new scene which is full of vibrant and experimental artists who are using non-traditional methods of creating, presenting and distributing art.


Platforms like Soundcloud have enabled more young Kenyan producers to showcase their music and organically gain followings without much fuss. However, in a sea of people making tracks it takes extra skill and competence to stand out from the crowd. Here’s a list of four Kenyan producers that deserve more love.

Sichangi

Sichangi.

Sichangi dropped a bomb on us when he released his Hold On EP four months ago, proving to any doubters that he's an incredibly skilled and talented producer. Despite only having burst onto the scene recently, Sichangi started making music four years ago—you can tell from the quality of his music that he has a level of proficiency that beats most.

The young producer describes his music as “sensual.” “Each song has a different emotion or feeling embedded into it purposefully ranging from if your bitch broke up with you to it’s lit,” he mentions. With direct influences from new school artists such as Anderson.Paak and Kaytranada, Sichangi’s music has a worldly appeal and it’s definitely the breath of fresh air we needed in Nairobi.

Mars

Mars.

Mars Maasai’s music fits right into a Soulection playlist with its blend of electronic beats, trap, R&B and hip-hop. A random listener probably wouldn’t know that he's from Kenya because his music's able to cut across borders and appeal to a massive audience.

“I love melodies and chords and I like to play around with the possibilities of combining the two. I like bass because it holds everything together and gives things a sense of direction,” Maasai says. His remixes have become many's favorites, as he has an amazing ability to transform a slow-paced, understated song into a banger within minutes, absolutely altering its energy.

Mars belongs to a collective called XPRSO which includes four other immensely gifted artists namely MANU, Noel, Mr. Lu and RVMP.

M³.

(M-cubed)'s music has a tasteful and sophisticated sense air. Listening to his tracks will leave you thinking “this is album material,” and it definitely is. M3 is well-versed in the art of beat making and composing songs.

In a budding scene where experimentation is popular, this artist seems to have his sound figured out. He knows what he’s doing and exactly how to execute it, which is refreshing to say the least. His style ranges from Afro-house to R&B and soul and he aims for perfection with every song. His Soundcloud page is one you won’t ever regret visiting.

Quassa

Quassa.

The first time we landed on Quassa’s Soundcloud, we wanted to beat ourselves up for not knowing about him earlier. “Slept on” is an understatement when it comes to describing this artist. He seems to have a never-ending flow of ideas, but what makes him great is that he's able to bring them all to life.

Although he labels his music "alternative hip-hop," Quassa makes all kinds of beats. His experimentation keeps fans on their toes, not knowing what to expect next. He's also really consistent and quick on execution, making his Soundcloud page the kind that you always go back to, checking for new stuff.

With more practice and a little bit more exposure, Quassa should get the break he deserves soon. We're totally here for it.

popular

Kenyan Students Launch #CampusMeToo Movement on University of Nairobi Campus

The movement aims to tackle sexual harassment on university campuses in Kenya.

Kenyan students at the University of Nairobi have recently launched the #CampusMeToo movement which aims to tackle the sexual harassment of students on Kenyan university campuses. The movement comes after ActionAid and UN Women teamed up and conducted a survey which reportedly found that 1 in 2 female students and 1 in 4 male students have been sexually harassed to some degree at the hands of staff at Kenyan universities. The student-led Kenyan extension of the now global #MeToo movement also comes after South Africa's #AmINext movement which protested increasing rates of gender-based violence and femicide while the BBC Africa's recent documentary Sex For Grades was an explosive exposé on sexual harassment going happening in West African universities.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Left to right: Images courtesy of Kwame Onwuachi, YouTube, and SUMY SADURNI/AFP via Getty Images

Bobi Wine, Wanuri Kahiu, Kwame Onwuachi & More Make Inaugural TIME 100 Next List

The list Includes a slew of young talent from across the diaspora.

TIME has released its new list, the 100 Next recognizing "100 rising stars who are shaping the future of business, entertainment, sports, politics, science, health and more. Although this focus lends itself to a younger group, we intentionally had no age cap—a recognition that ascents can begin at any age," as it's described in TIME.

The list includes several of our favorite move-makers and creatives from the African continent across several indus

Video: Wanuri Kahiu On How 'Rafiki' Took the World by Storm Since Premiering at Cannes

The Kenyan director of the groundbreaking film Rafiki Wanuri Kahiu is one of this year's many nominees. "I'm on the first #TIME100Next list! So proud! So happy! So pleased to represent," wrote the filmmaker on Twitter. Ugandan musician turned presidential candidate Bobi Wine is also included on the list.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief

Watch Reason and Ginger Trill’s Music Video for Their Politically Charged Single ‘Cashless Society’

Reason and Ginger Trill share grimy visuals for 'Cashless Society.'

Reason has finally released the visuals for "Cashless Society," one of the strongest songs in his latest album, 2018's Azania.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief

Listen to Davido's New Album 'A Good Time'

The 17-track album features Naira Marley, Zlatan, Popcaan, Summer Walker and more.

Davido's much anticipated sophomore album A Good Time has finally dropped. Trust us when we say that it's aptly named. Seven years after his debut album Genesis and a string of incredibly successful singles and collaborations with the likes of Demola, Big Narstie and Jeremih, the Nigerian superstar is in top-form on this new 17-track project. Naira Marley, Zlatan, Popcaan, Yonda, Summer Walker, Wurld, Dremo and several other talented artists are featured on the album.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.