Probably one of 2019’s most pronounced occurrences, the advent of Gengetone has been on an upward trail since the inception of the genre. At a time when Kapuka and other distinctive Kenyan sounds were gravely fading into oblivion,Gengetone came to the rescue.
When Lamba Lolo first hit the airwaves,its explicit nature overshadowed what was likely a sign of a new nondescript genre. With a little known all-boy outfit from Eastlands taking on what could be termed the road less travelled, unbeknownst to us was that there was still a lot more under wraps. Just when the dust was settling on Lamba Lolo,another group hopped on the scene. Bizarrely, they had striking semblances with Ethic. Dubbed Sailors,their Wamlambez hit had just as many sexual innuendos as its predecessor. Fast forward months later,there was an indisputable saturation with this new sound. Groups from far-flung corners of the city and with a characteristic all-male lineup had mushroomed as had their anthemic music, easily taking over the airwaves and bringing a much-needed breath of fresh air.
While Gengetone is as controversial as it is catchy and irresistible, there is no denying that it is now the it-Kenyan sound. That,after years of relentless rhetoric about the Kenyan music scene being devoid of an elaborate sound that sets it apart from others, a la the Tanzanian and Nigerian sounds. Now with Ethic, Boondocks Gang,Sailors and Matata as some of the most visibly aggressive acts,it is suffice to say that the sound is here to stay. Have you seen their music video views? It goes without saying that they have cemented their ground as artistes worth reckoning. Perhaps capitalizing off of their Kenyan roots and shooting star-rated music videos in Norway where they are based,Matata have made a name for themselves as the only group pursuing the genre overseas.
Predictably,the success of Gengetone has seen artistes in other genres jump on the bandwagon in their quest to appeal to a wider demographic. This,if anything, is undeniable proof that the genre has hurled its magic wand everyone’s way and it has worked,albeit all too seamlessly.