May 2018, Ethic uploaded their home-made hit song Lamba Lolo on YouTube. This would mark a new taste for Kenyan music which is popularly known as Gengetone. They set the precedence and the Kenyan music landscape has not been the same again.
Gengetone-the new music genre that almost everyone is jamming to rose to become Kenya’s newest love in the music industry in 2019. It started when a tweetstorm #PlayKeMusic trended, with deejays and media houses accused of playing mostly Nigeria’s Afro-beat and Tanzania’s Bongo Flava instead of Kenyan music.
That is how Gengetone was birthed and, it would seem, Kenyans have consumed more of their own music from 2019 compared to the past few years.
However, this new style of music generated a lot of controversy due to its vulgar language, with critics saying it is encouraging immorality. It saw Kenya Film Classification Boss (KFCB), Ezekiel Mutua impose some restrictions on when and where the songs could be played.
Generally, though, there have been fewer complaints from Kenyan artists and fans about the music played in local media which can be assumed to imply acceptance.
With that as the case, is it beneficial for Gengetone artists to continue making this type of music? How much are they making from appearances and performance with their music?
According to a YouTuber by the name Tileh Pacbro, the following is the amount of money some of the biggest Gengetone artists make per performance.
Ethic Entertainment is made of Rekles, Seska, SWAT and Zilla, and together they are recognised as the founding fathers of Gengetone. They get close to Ksh. 140,000 per performance.
Sailors Gang are mostly known for their hit song Wamlambez Wamnyonyez that almost become a national anthem. The group is composed of Miracle Baby, Shalkido, Masilver, Qoqos Juma and Lexxy, and together they make approximately Ksh. 100,000 per performance.
Mbogi Genje literally makes even those who thought they had a mastery of sheng slang appear clueless with their insane mastery of this ever-changing lingua franca.
“Kwa warosho, mafala wanaivisha we jichoche ndio buda, ukapita ni kunare, utapiganishwa tisa na ukichachisha, kuna vile utabakishwa vibe genje ndio riang’ ukisleki utapata mashashola zime-land mr man, mistari zikigwan Nazindua… this is an excerpt from their song Kidungi.
From a single performance, Mbogi Genje; Guzman, Smady Tingz, and Militan as group makes close to Ksh. 120,000.
You have probably heard this popular Zimenishika zimenishika yoo song. Yes, the man behind it, Zzero Sufuri makes Ksh.60,000 making him one of the most expensive solo performer among his peers.
Benzema is a member of Ochunglo Family. Together they made hits such as Kaa Na Mama Yako. He has since stood out doing solos and collabo among the Foto Moto by Rapper Noti Flow. Benzema takes home Ksh.100,000 from a performance.
Only One Dello
Only One Dello made a name with his single Chupa Kuchupa and from a performance, he takes home Ksh.60,000 same with fellow Zzero Sufuri.