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2019, Blog, english, Kenya

Music in and from Kenya

For about ten years, the Kenyan and african music industry has been making a big development leap. The best examples and comparison can be found on Youtube. Video quality, beats and rhythms can easily keep up with western productions.

Old Video Willy Paul, Kenya: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/3ag9Ny4zl1Y

Old Video 2Face, Nigeria: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/_A0fWBHu9pM

But how are musicians actually paid in Kenya? Of course, the German GEMA has brothers and sisters there as well. Also CMOs (Collective Management Organizations) and CSPs (Content Service Providers) there are not always the same opinion. Same as in Germany.

New Video Willy Paul: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/LlZcj_G8OF4

Current rising star Amani G, Kenya: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/NczWrdQQLBo

Music piracy is and remains a problem for many artists. Although Kenya is equipped with a better Internet infrastructure in the mobile sector than Germany, but the costs for the individual are high. So the economic compulsion to participate in cultural assets through piracy is a little bit understandable.

Live performances are still a fundamentally high source of income. But there are also problems at the moment. At concerts and live performances, artists from Nigeria or Tanzania, for example, are better paid than local singers and bands. That causes trouble.
Only very few musicians are able to record a song and offer it for streaming on Youtube or other providers and generate a good passive income. The stage is therefore still the most important source. With enough money, the biggest stars will sing at your wedding.

Big star from Tanzania, Diamond Platnumz: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/FH2QsiBixe4

Also Diamond: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/w8eUTOYrkDM

At the moment musicians argue with radio stations and complain that their songs are not played sufficiently. Also accusations in the direction of collecting societies not to participate enough in the revenues are similar to those in German latitudes. Everywhere the same problems on this planet.

The relatively strong Safaricom group also plays a role here. Through its own app called SONGA. The app offers the artists in Kenya transparency regarding their income. A previously introduced app called SKIZA led to problems due to lack of transparency, which ended up in court.

SONGA can only be used in the Safaricom network. Also the download outside their business areas is not possible via the Playstore. In Kenya and other eastafrican countries, it is an all-inclusive music streaming app that gives musicians back control. Users can also listen to their songs offline (download). This also fights piracy.

The app contains over 2.5 million songs from various genres, including local and international music. Users can use the service for the equivalent of 25 cents a day, €1.50 a week or €5 a month. Payment is made via the phone provider’s credit balance.

Liveradio is also supported. For example the Radiosender KISS FM, East FM, Classic 105, Homeboyz radio and many more.

If you want to get to know more kenyan music, you can simply search for music kenya on youtube.