In Summary
  • However, we can’t forget some of the old skool artistes who came in with a bang and left us wanting more.
  • We go back in time and feature some of the best 90s artistes who helped shape the entertainment industry in Kenya.

The Kenyan music industry has undergone significant changes that has seen the rise of new artistes who are putting Kenya on the world map musically.

Boy band Sauti Sol, rapper Nyashinski, singer Atemi and Della are among the few new age music artistes who are setting the pace.

However, we can’t forget some of the old skool artistes who came in with a bang and left us wanting more.

We go back in time and feature some of the best 90s artistes who helped shape the entertainment industry in Kenya.

WAKIMBIZI

Who can forget these guys with their controversial hit songs "Nampenda John" and "Jogoo"? Wakimbizi was made up of two brothers, Mariko and Filter, and Andree who was their childhood friend.

Wakimbizi was made up of two brothers, Mariko and Filter, and Andree who was their childhood friend. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

Wakimbizi was made up of two brothers, Mariko and Filter, and Andree who was their childhood friend. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

They became popular in the 90s with their song "Nishike Pole Pole", which became an instant club hit. They then released Wrong Number. This was then followed by "Nampenda John", their most successful song. Wakimbizi are in plans to produce a comeback album.

NAMELESS

He rose into fame in 1999 with his mega hit "Megarider". He later signed up with Ogopa Djs where he collaborated with artistes including E-sir and Amani. He is currently one of the oldest artistes who has been able to sustain his relevance in the ever-evolving industry.

JIMW@T

James Wathigo Mburu a.k.a Jimw@t started his music career at a young age. Jimw@t recorded his first song, "Sema Nami Sweetie", with Calif Records while in Form Four.

On clearing high school, Jimw@t released the song and was shocked by the positive response.

The same year, he was featured by Rhaptaz, a group composed of Gabu of P-Unit in the song "Paulina", which became a club hit and was in the Close-Up Dance-o-Mania competition.

In the same year, he released his most popular single to date, "Under 18", in which he featured Meg C. His last release was "Fan Wangu". We could not reach the celebrated singer to get a comment on his silence.

KLEPTOMANIAX

The group consisted of three members: Roba (Robert Manyasa), Collo (Collins Majale) and Nyashinski (Nyamari Ongegu). Kleptomaniax was formed in 1999, when they were still students at Nairobi School.

The group joined the Ogopa DJ’s label and released their first single, "Freak It" in 2002, which was followed by Maniax "Anthem" and "Haree". However, one of their biggest hits was Tuendelee.

UKOO FLANI MAUMAU

One cannot go back in time without mentioning hip-hop heavy weights Ukoo Flani Mau Mau. Ukoo Flani from the Coast and Mau Mau from Nairobi joined forces to become the most respected name in their genre.

One cannot go back in time without mentioning hip-hop heavy weights Ukoo Flani Mau Mau. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

One cannot go back in time without mentioning hip-hop heavy weights Ukoo Flani Mau Mau. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

Their songs have been termed Kenyan hip-hop classics, among them Burn Them and Dandora l.o.v.e that topped the charts. They split in early 2000, with some like Sharama launching solo careers.

SWAHILI NATION

This was one of the best RnB groups back in the 90s. It was made up of two brothers Andrew and Robert Muturi and Cool James who later left the group.

The Muturis then added Ken Kayongo and Charlie Todwong from Uganda. In 1994, Robert founded Groove Sounds while in Sweden, and eventually left the group.

Ken, Charlie and Andrew were left to work on their first album, teaming up with Dr Alban of Dr Record’s fame.

Dr Alban helped them release "Hakuna Matata", which is one of the biggest RnB hits ever out of East Africa.