How Prince Indah Initiated The Fusion Of Benga And Contemporary Music

[Image Source: Instagram]

Written By: Brian Sikulu

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In recent years, Benga music in Kenya has experienced significant growth in popularity and acceptance in modern society. The rise of digital platforms and the availability of affordable mobile phones has contributed immensely to the broader dissemination and appreciation of the genre, leading to a growth in popularity.

However, the penetration of Benga into the modern-day music market was not spontaneous. A section of celebrated Benga musicians has been credited for contributing immensely to this achievement. One such artist who has earned himself wide recognition for taking part in this revolution is Prince Indah. The singer's recent successful mega-hit songs have followed a specific strategy and pattern that created a bridge between Benga and contemporary music.

A few years ago, it would have seemed impossible for a Benga artist to collaborate with a contemporary artist. This perception stemmed from the diverse culture represented by the two sides. Whereas Benga music is a traditional vernacular-based music genre whose history dates back to the early 20th century, contemporary music is based on the modern-day lifestyle.

Prince Indah, nonetheless, changed the narrative with his recent releases. He broke the norm and featured contemporary artists drawn from various genres of music. He did this while maintaining his original style of music |(Benga). Prince Indah's daring experiment to tap into the new generation market birthed a strong relationship between Benga and contemporary music.

In October 2021, multi-award-winning music star Bahati and Prince Indah brought the whole music scene to a standstill with the viral 'Adhiambo' hit song. The two music geniuses presented a masterpiece that blended Benga and contemporary music. This was a brand-new idea that not only caught many off-guard but also melted the hearts of music lovers.

The shake-up that 'Adhiambo' caused in the music industry saw rival artists adapt to the style. Barely two months later, Willy Paul featured Benga superstar Musa Jakadala and Klons on 'Atoti Jaber'. The release too went viral and dominated the airwaves for months. At this point, it was evident that the marriage between Benga and contemporary music would last for a long time.

Determined to push Benga music beyond ethnic boundaries, Prince Indah continued to work with contemporary artists such as Mr. Seed and Khaligraph. Prince Indah is far from being done despite all the success he has accrued in his mission of championing Benga music. The music star has announced his upcoming music project featuring celebrated Mugithi musician Samidoh. The collabo which has been titled 'Bado Nakupenda' is expected to open a new chapter in the relationship between Benga and contemporary music.

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