New aage artistes: Kohen Jaycee, Ceee, Akeine, Kamanzi, Izabel.Ug are some of the names we are beginning to continuaously see on flyers. These are singers who have chosen a sound that can cross borders and are setting themselves up for bigger things, writes Andrew Kaggwa
If you have followed trends through 2023, there are chances you have heard music from artistes such as Kohen Jaycee, Ceee, Niwe Akeine, Kamanzi, Izabel.Ug, Elijah Kitaka or Joshua Baraka.
These are artistes who showed up and somehow made their presence felt. Unlike the known mainstream artistes whose major aim is to get their music on the next local radio station or local club, these aim for other platforms.
Not in a million times will you catch them backstage at Gravity or Fik Fameica’s concert begging for the opportunity to perform; in fact, you will hardly find them in the audience.
Maybe it is an assumption. For many, these are artistes whose audience is already waiting; they will perform at Blankets and Wine, Shorts Na Lesu, different brunches and a batch of events organised by Malembe Lifestyle.
But there are also a series of events that curate such artistes, such as Jameson and Friends, Boda Boda Stage and Xpressions UG, among others.
They could be artistes whom most people did not know a few years ago, although for the short time they have been performing, they have an adoring audience.
When Elijah Kitaka played at Vibez Nzuri’s end of year extravaganza at Gazebo in Najjera, you clearly saw something different had happened, the wild cheer that accompanied the performance. It was the same case when he was on the ShoNaLe stage, the love he gets from these audience is unbelievable.
This is the same for Kohen Jaycee, Niwe Akeine, Ceee or Kamanzi at such events, the audiences there know their music and lyrics by heart. The fanbase adores them that you cannot help but wonder where they learnt about the music, considering it is not played on mainstream TVs and radio.
These artistes have managed to cultivate a dedicated following through alternative means such as social media and underground music platforms. Their unique sound and style resonate with a niche audience that actively seeks out new and undiscovered talent. The fanbase’s passion and knowledge of their music is a testament to the power of word-of-mouth and the impact of online communities in today’s music industry.
But is that enough? Is it all it takes? Are the artistes the answer to Nigerian music’s dominance?
Too many questions, huh?
Are they all that?
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