14 November 2017

East Africa: Making EAC Music Win Global Market

East African music is steadily winning a global appeal after years of struggles. The sky-high success of the region's mega stars such as Ali Kiba, Diamond Platinumz, Chameleon, Victoria Kimani or Sauti Sol has created an urge for the global market.

Anyiko Owoko, a Kenyabased promoter of the Swahili Music noted that the new generation music carries a number of interesting things.

Owoko, who has worked with several big names in East African music industry, said in Dar es Salaam during her tour that East African music has rich cultural connection that contains all races as far as the history of East Africa is concern.

"There is more than what you hear in East African music. It is the land that saw visitors from Asia, Europe, Middle East, Far East, and Persia; and all of them left their traces here," said Anyiko.

She says from a mere syncopated lyrics styled in American rap, young generation's music, whether it is Bongo Flava, Takeu or Ugandan music, has grown up considerably to become a powerful art that reveals how the East Africans are affected by multinational influences.

Adding, she said even the Yoruba connection that previously looked solely in Fela Kuti Music can be today heard in today's music recorded by artistes from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

"I have worked with artistes like Vanesa Mdee, Victoria Kimani and Sauti Sol,and found many unique elements in that many others don't note," she said.

However, she notes there is growing partnership between East African musicians and Nigerians and many collabos have been recorded. She said the notable Nigerian influences seemed to be from such contemporary stars as P Square, DBanj and most recently Davido who once collaborated with the local stars such as Diamond Platinumz and Victoria Kimani.

She said she is delighted to see East African music claiming stage which was previously dominated by Congolese musicians.

As a committee promoter, Anyiko thinks she can achieve her goal to bring East African music to global market as there is a sign of achievement that shows abundance of talents and opportunities to produce hits.

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