Is the Kenyan Urban Gospel Music Industry Slowly Dying?
25 January 2021
[Photo Credit: Buzz Central]
By Lydia M Joshua
A few years ago, the gospel music industry in Kenya was booming and gospel artists were among the most respected individuals in society. Music not only entertained but informed and educated the masses.
The gospel artistes back then pushed the industry to an extent that most artistes believed that money is in the gospel industry.
The stiff competition between top gospel artistes then ensured that every musician produced amazing jams in order to enjoy airplay.
For instance back then, Willy Paul and Bahati would release back to back music with each hoping to have the best song at the end of the day.
Their dominance forced other artistes to pull up their songs. This meant that there was consistency, quality was on pint and the message was appealing to the masses.
However, with time, the Kenyan urban gospel music industry has been on a downward trajectory with artistes either warming up to the secular world, or gospel music groups dismantling with each member opting for a solo career.
For instance, Bahati and Willy Paul who were key pillars in the industry appear to have veered off their calling. The famous Kymo and Stigah duo who blessed us with ‘Thitima’ are no more, they disappeared just like that.
Famous Kelele Takatifu group also parted ways with Moji ShortBabaa and Didi opting to pursue solo careers. One common denominator is the fact that once the groups disband, the artists struggle to make it alone. For instance while Moji ShortBabaa is still famous and doing well musically, he is yet to match the standards and levels they set with Didi under their Kelele Takatifu group.
While the industry appears to be on a downward trajectory, there is hope of a revival thanks to artists such as Guardian Angel who is currently nurturing a young crop of gospel musicians.
Through his ‘Project Empowering Uprising Artists’, Guardian Angel hopes to empower the next generation of gospel artists who’ll take over and possibly return urban gospel music to where it was in the yester years.