In Summary
  • Most of our artistes are helping the industry to move forward.
  • More people now consume Kenyan music and appreciate live concerts. That is why you see hundreds turning up for live concerts.
  • There are a lot of underground artistes whose names are not known but have incredible talent.

Ian Mbugua, known in popular media as Judge Ian for his role in the Tusker Project Fame talent search, has always had a passion for music.

So when the opportunity to be part of one of the biggest music talent search shows presented itself, he saw it as a chance to shape the industry.

As a judge on Tusker Project Fame, he is loved and hated in equal measure because of his often mean comments, which leave most participants dreading what he has to say about their performance.

However, his view of Kenyan artistes is encouraging. “I am glad to say that most of our artistes are helping the industry to move forward in some areas.”

A notable improvement is live shows, which were not common a while back. 

Besides, Kenyans have learnt to appreciate Kenyan content. “More people now consume Kenyan music and appreciate live concerts. That is why you see hundreds turning up for live concerts,” he said, adding that this is evident at events like the Safaricom Jazz festival and Koroga Festival.

Indeed, Sassy Nigeria songstress Yemi Alade even launched her latest album, Bum Bum, during the last edition of the Koroga Festival.

HUNGER FOR MUSIC

But he says some areas are still stagnant.

“What we now need is more local people putting out good content. There is a market and a hunger for live music. But it is unfortunate that most of our artistes have not improved at all. The song an artiste released five years ago as a hit is the same kind of beat you will get in his other songs,” says Judge Ian.

In an interview on the second episode of the Lit 360 Show, she said she was looking forward to more collaborations with Kenyan artistes.

“What we now need is more local people putting out good content. There is a market and a hunger for live music. But it is unfortunate that most of our artistes have not improved at all. The song an artiste released five years ago as a hit is the same kind of beat you will get in his other songs,” says Ian.

He says this is the area that has stagnated with artistes who lack creativity. What they need to do is re-evaluate what they do and reinvent themselves.

According to Ian he has seen a lot of underground artistes whose names are not known but have incredible talent. But sadly they are not the ones whose music is played on radio or TV. What media does is play the same old people.

“I would like to see an offset of completely unknown artistes getting more airplay and I will assure you this will wow everyone. We have a lot of talent people who are amazing but they are not being given a platform,” says Ian Mbugua.

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For more visit www.lit360.africa