Mombasa boasts of being Kenya’s music hub courtesy of talented musicians who have their roots at vthe coastal based city. A few have managed to rise to national prominence whereas none is yet to cut a niche at the global arena, save for Akothee ‘Madam Boss’ with her expensive West African collabos. As for Madam Boss she is a special case since most of us don’t know her for her music prowess but her dance styles and other showbiz drama which makes headlines across social media platform making her the most discussed musician after Willy Paul not for her music, who remembers any of her songs anyway.
When it comes to song writing and swahili poetry they are way better than their Tanzanian Bongo Flava counterparts you only need to listen to their lines without attaching their names to them.
With big names such as Otile Brown, Brown Mauzo,Chikuzee, Chapatizo, Susumila, and his fellow “kidekide” hit orchestrator Dazlah have taken unprecedented efforts towards vouching for Mombasa’s secular music airplay which doesn’t receive much airplay outside coastal based radio and TV stations. Most coastal musicians lack consistency, are one hit wonders, have silly ‘beefs’ and grudges. They spent most of their time trying to pull each other down not promoting and supporting each other. Some are often drunk with stardom mixing women and alcohol at the expense of their music careers thus their fortunes dwindle making them slip to music oblivion.
Albeit each among the aforementioned individual’s input on matters music recording, promotion, management and most vitally their recent project works, it is suffice to say the “world stars in the making” are still way below par compared to their much accomplished bongo flava industry colleagues except for Otile Brown who is making a name for himself by giving fans hit after hit. He has been doing both formal and informal media tours as he pushes his music.
Diamond Platinumz, who signs off as C.E.O Wasafi Records with his arsenalic crew including Harmonize, Rich Mavoko, “Push up” vocalist Rayvanny, Lavalava, Mbosso, Queen Darleen and instrumental maestro if not “Kingpin producer” Lizer Classic are savagely working round the clock day in day out to deliver according to current trends and audience expectations. They give what the people want to hear without ounces of scruple whatsoever.
One of the factors that ostensibly places Mombasa stars behind those from Tanzania is mismanagement. Artist management is something as cringe worthy if any particular artist is to significantly remain relevant with passing waves in modern music trends.Diamond Platinumz for instance boasts a rich management team inclusive of Babu Tale and other lubber personalities on the Tanzanian front on matters promotion of tracks, show coordination and management of artistes.
This one yet vital factor makes Diamond almost unreachable at the moment. The guy is on some accurate exaltation and constant upward propulsion . He works hard in studio but still has a team capable of making stuff happen.
Otile Brown on the other hand is so talented. No one would refute such a claim. However, management issues have been disturbing the lad’s music since time in memorial. Dr. Eddy had some altercation with the coast star few years back. Their feud somewhat affected Otile’s music, shows and consistency on local and East African charts.
The two ultimately compromised issues only to part ways for good. Otile is now more of a freelance artiste signed to no particular studio but who plays his music cards as he would wish.
The second most poignant reason why Mombasa artistes are still short of prominence and relevance when juxtaposed to bongo flava stars could be consumption of the genre of music in Kenya. You would all concur that most Kenyans don’t actually listen to Swahili music of bongo decent. Apart from the Coastal area where the genre is highly consumed, highland areas listen to the aforementioned music type lesser, with most of citizens from Nairobi, Eldoret, Kisumu, Nakuru and sundries opting to consume local club bangers; most specifically from Nairobi based artistes.
This has had a lacklustre illusion. That one’s music can barely make it from lowland regions especially within Coast. Otile Brown, Sudi boy, Kidis, Jay A among many other Mombasa stars had to shift bases to Nairobi for their careers to largely remain relevant and on course.
Competition also comes in handy. Most of the guys around Mombasa who do Swahili bongo music are talent – savvy. This reason makes available the presence of such a cut throat competition which only allows for survival of the fittest. Suffice is to say a lot of other Kenyan industry viable young talents do not get ample chance and space to get the cut.
The region is also highly infringed by chronic drug usage. Such a factor has seen promising talents vanish into thin air due to insufficient consistency. Tanzania on the other hand boast a government that cares for its artistes. Top government delegates took part in Ray C’s rehabilitation for instance. Now she is back on track and doing music yet again. Mr. Blue, Chidi Benz among others have also received government assistance on matters quitting drugs in the recent past.The only thing coastal artists are known for is their ability to be consistently inconsistent.