It’s no doubt that music production in Kenya has grown tremendously. Unlike before when there were few production houses in the country, there are now many production studios and many highly talented producers who have come up over the years.
In the early 90s, the Kenyan music business was at a very low point. This was as a result of diminishing sales and competition from pirates. Presence of the pirates meant that as a singer you couldn’t get your money back from your recorded music.
This discouraged many people from recording and as a result just a few songs were produced.
In the mid-90s, a number of factors came about and changed the Kenyan music scene. One of the main factors that brought about the changes is the take off of commercial FM radio stations. As the radio stations came up, there was high demand for high quality songs.
Initially, these radio stations played plenty of western music such as reggae, raga, hip-hop, dancehall, and American R&B.
As people got introduced to the western culture, music production studios had to come up with new techniques and tools that would allow them to produce songs that were of the same quality as those produced in western countries.
To do this, the music producers had to make use of computers, software, mixing boards and other tools. Introduction of these tools made music production more affordable and the music produced was of high quality.
Most of the music produced at this time was packaged in cassettes although there was some music that was packaged in CDs.
As technology developed, multi-track layering became the tool of the new breed of independent producers who were recording directly to computer hard drives for guitars, drum machines, keyboards and other synthesized sounds.
By the late 90s, Kenyan music had grown tremendously and new production houses had came up. New singing groups also came up and started singing in styles that were largely inspired by the western culture. To give a Kenyan touch, the music producers had to add Kenyan melody and instrumentation in the music.
Some of the notable people who revolutionized the Kenyan music are: Harrison Ngunjiri, Tedd Josiah and Kalamashaka.
Over the years Kenyan music production has continued growing and many new production houses have come up. Many talented and highly skilled music producers have come up and they are making great changes in the Kenya’s music industry.