Many at times emerging artists always put in a lot of work that goes unnoticed due to various reasons that narrow down to lack of exposure and knowledge of the art business.
This year having been the most disorganized and frustrating years in history more so for the art industry has seen very many new talents emerge from the rough and shine against all odds. From viral vines and videos from up-and-coming names you’ve probably never heard of (but will know very soon) to mega collaborations with superstars like Khaligraph Jones, Octopizzo & King Kaka.
How many songs did you add to your playlists from artists freshly added to bigger rosters? It’s high time for the art world to take in a fresh crop of talent and here we highlight 10 emerging artists hailing from the lakeside city — Kisumu, Kenya who mark the very best of the class of 2020.
Below we are highlighting 10 male artists based in Kisumu that you should check out in no particular order:
Having had his first hit song “Tuition Teacher” in the early 2011, rapper Nebulazz has since been churning hits and making great musical moves with his art while representing his hometown.
Born and raised in Nyalenda Nebulazz has since managed to work with big names in the industry including and not limited to Kenrazy, comedian Oga Obinna and recently je got features in the smash hit “Gari Weka Kando” by Alex Mathenge — the song has already garnered more than 1 million views on YouTube.
It is clearly evident that any rapper who works on a song with Khaligraph Jones automatically becomes a star as seen with Breeder LW and the Kisumu born star, Japesa who recently enlisted the OG on hit song “Obongo Nyakalaga”.
Before getting to work with Khaligraph on the song which is presumed to be a remix of the original version that was done together with Vicmass Luodollar & Vioxii Dede, Japesa had already gotten a taste of the prime high table by being tapped in King Kaka and Jalang’o tune “Acknowledge” that skyrocketed his career into the mainstream.
Japesa is currently ruling the airwaves with a new freestyle single “Luo Rap King”
3. Gabiro Mtu Necessary
Self-proclaimed Kisumu president is probably not your ordinary artist when it comes to being diverse and predictable. Having proven to not only be a rapper but also a singer, Gabiro also known as Mtu Necessary is definitely one artist to watch out for in his space in 2020 going forward.
He is indisputably the most sought after rapper in the region having worked with big names in the industry and across the world like Wyre, Ketchup, Jose Chameleone, Kidis and he even teased a collaboration with Grammy Award winning artist; Owuor Arunga early this year.
Having been the first Kisumu based artist to be verified on both Facebook & Instagram, Gabiro Mtu Necessary boasts of a wide online fanbase and listenership with his latest musical project; MPITO EP which is a collaborative effort between him and fellow musician Asen B has almost 500,000 streams across digital platforms.
In early 2018, Kisumu city had one of the best and most versatile boy bands in the region that consisted of vocalist & instrumentalist Apesi Mnyama Mkali who has since drifted away from the group to pursue a solo career.
Apesi went solo this year in a bid to get greener pastures as a solo artist, something that has really brought him close to his prime time. He has since managed to command a strong following with his newly invented style of music that he calls Afro-benga — a fusion of African pop and Benga music.
With over 3,000 YouTube subscribers and a new album titled “Kublus”, Apesi is already a force to reckon with in the lake region.
5. The CBK Music
You would really be missing it if you mentioned Apesi and not touch on his former band mates; The Creative Band Kenya alias The CBK Music which now consists of Allan & Kamwana.
Having released an album “Wuoth” last year that featured artists like Nebulazz, Beryl Owano and Chief Moses the two have maintained their space in the industry as top acts by gracing every event in town and offering entertainment services in various joints.
They are currently working on a new album set for release early next year and you are definitely going to love it as they never disappoint.
Listening to Luoboi’s music you will realize how much being a Luo is a calling because he is all about the Luo lifestyle and vibe with his music with his most notable song being “Luo Zone”
Rapper Luoboi has had his rap career transition and rebrand from a hardcore underground rapper as Warlord Magwagwa to a new age lyricist; Luoboi. He is almost a replica of the late Poxy Presha with his voice uniquely standing out in all his songs.
Luoboi is currently being referred to as the Mbogi Genje of Kisumu city.
Statistically not so many people listen to RnB style of music even in Kenya as a whole but that has not been a reason for this Kisumu vocalist to stop doing what he loves.
He terms his style as a fusion of RnB and Pop and he has already built himself a fanbase that keep yearning for more with each release.
Kysh Roberts came into the limelight in 2018 with his song ‘Eyesore’ that became a female dance floor tune in parties and clubs and he is currently ruling the scene with his latest release ‘Love Kishenzi’
Love Kishenzi might probably be the best choreographed video from the region so far.
8. Asen B
Being rapper Gabiro Mtu Necessary protege in 2020 singer Asen B is now among the top artists to watch from the lakeside city.
He is currently enjoying massive airplay and recognition with their collaborative six tracks album that has already garnered over 500,000 streams on digital platforms with 3 music videos already released off the album and receiving international recognition as well.
His voice stands out with his unique high pitched and amorous flow amongst all Kisumu based singers. He is a talent to watch in 2020 and beyond!
Lyrical brilliance is part of Swaleh’s music stacked in witty flow in his local dialect together with a mixture of Ghana’s Twi as heard in his hit single ‘Pod Apek’ that became his breakthrough tune.
Representing the informal settlements of Obunga famously known as Obunga slums the rapper is not using this as a setback much more than a comeback to reuniting the masses.
Referred to as the lyrical sniper his lyrics will definitely get you on the groove.
10. Chief Moses
Rapper Chief Moses made his debut in the ‘Fimbo Ya Tatu’ feature by Grandpa Records where he got a chance to work with the likes of Sauti Sol, Kenrazy, Sosuun and Wyre.
He has since managed to build a very strong fanbase in Kisumu, Kenya and always headlining almost every show in the region. He was recently also announced as the brand ambassador for Taffuta app in a partnership that saw him scoop a good amount of cash.
Self-acclaimed Kondele ghetto president has been on a hiatus during this pandemic but his vibe is still being felt in absentia.