The Kenyan music industry is doing just fine, especially the vernacular bit of it. Their audience is easily within reach and the message in the songs is easy to relate with. Some vernacular musicians though have gone beyond the local ‘ethnic’ audience to both national and international level, they have amassed a large fan base though many people don’t really get what the message is in the song…talk of the Magic of Music.
Today we document for you some of the most vocal Vernacular Musicians in Kenya
With a heavily decorated career, Suzzana is one of the most outspoken, famous and most vocal vernacular secular artiste in Kenya. With huge hits like “Kisumu 100”, Sandore, wamiel just to name a few to her credit, she has exhibited excellence in her field. She has been nominated for tens of awards, won countless awards and represented Kenya in many international music festivals. She has even performed before the late Nelson Mandela.
Emmy Kosgei is a vernacular gospel singer who sings in Kalenjin. So sweet are her songs that you can just listen to them though you don’t grasp a thing. Her melodious voice just sums everything up. She has won many awards alongside many nominations. She has in the recent past teamed up with Suzzana Owiyo for a Sing For Peace Initiative. Emmy has performed in many national events like Jamhuri day and Madaraka day. Her notable pieces of work are Ololo, Taai, Sobei Cheiso, Asiya Lasun and Taunet Nelel.
Nina Ogot is an award-winning songstress who is better known for her popular Afro Pop and Afro Acoustics speciality. She sings in both English, Swahili, Luo and French. But her songs in Luo are more of captivating than the other songs.
Her songs are like Nairobi, Rabi and Aheri just to name a few.
Aheri is her latest song and it’s one of the loveliest love songs I have heard in a while now.
Nina Ogot also hosts a wedding show on Citizen tv.
Lady Wanja, born Ejidiah Wanja Benga songstress who sings in Kikuyu language. She has her roots in Muranga county. Wanja’s music is generally based on human and social relationships and her vibrant style of musical expression breathes life into her lyrical content that addresses daily issues faced by the society. Some of her major hit songs are Wihikahike ,Tiga Kuherithia,Muthunguci,Nyumba Ni Nene ,Mutino Wa Ndege, Njambi Wa Muhia,Sauti Ilisikika ,Alfa Na Omega ,Domo Kaya,Thiururuka Mugumo.
Mum Cherop is a vernacular gospel musician who sings in the local Kalenjin language. She articulates her music in a way that is captivating and can draw one to listen to her songs even though they don’t get it.
Her major tracks are Tetutik, Kosun, Tos Aywei ngo, Kimitun and Igen Jehovah.
6.John De Matthew
John De Mathew sings in Kikuyu. He is one of the most highly acclaimed local (vernacular) musicians in Kenya. He is popularly known for his song Njata Yakwa, Menye Menye and many more like Nii Wacokera?Jogoo Ya Town,Thii Biu, Property,Nikii Wacokera, Nyina wa Carol, Simama Mama, Niwanyumire Thayu, Wituite Hiti, My Brother, Mwihuguro, Mene Mene Tekeli and Njata Yakwa just to name a few.
Henry Sagero Bonyakoni sings in Kisii. His songs point on the societal issues, normal day to day activities and educative stuff. His songs are like Omwana Nomwana, Omoika bwo Omosiki, Obondi and Chingencho chia abasacha.
8.Ken Wa Maria
Maestro Kennedy Wambua Ngunze is a vocal musician who is dubbed as the King of Benga in Ukambani. The ‘Fundamentals’ song is one of his best works which he is famous for.
Other songs are Vilomena,Soma Kyamanyanya, Usiness ya usungya, Haleluya, Pole mwiitu a mutule.
Tonny is a seasoned musician who has travelled wide and far with his Ohangla beat which spread across the country like bush fire. Many Kenyans can sing along to many of his jams as he picks on some conspicuous choruses to spice up his songs. His songs are like Ndoa Ya Machozi
Kidi Oba Etoke, Dala Gi Mama Nyiri Beyo,Mapenzi,Mapenzi Kizunguzungu,Atieno Oberana, Raila igalagala.
Ben Githae is a gospel musician whose most songs are in ‘Kikuyu’ language. He has won multiple awards and performed in several major events. His song Tano Tena headlined Jubilee campaigns. Some of his songs are Kuhuthirwo Uru, Tabia Mbaya, Kwiyaria, Irathimo Ciakwa, Ona Ageria Niekuremwo,Maya Ni Mabataro,Timiza Maono,Glory to Glory, Guthii Ni Guthii, Witue Mundu, Timiza Maono,Vita Nyumbani, Wendaga Nduike Mwega and Mlianza Na Roho.
His song Kanungo spread far and wide and was sung by all. It is one song that you must have heard wherever back then in 2014 and 2015.
His songs are like Kanungo Eteko,Awaka,Rapar Apollonio among many others
The name might not ring a bell but his songs will.
Jacob Luseno is one of the finest musicians from luhya land. He worked with legendary musicians like Daudi Kabaka and Fadhili Williams. His songs are Mukangala,Khutsi Ingo, Appointment,Makuru,Ikalakala,Khaseveve,Bushuma Bwa Malika,Ingokho Yamalole,Shipwoni