The ever growing local music industry is experiencing a rapid evolution as more and more young artistes dive into the entertainment scene. Times have changed from the days when artistes had to struggle to get airplays or even record songs to the new era where artistes are inking lucrative deals with major record labels. However with the business booming, more and more artistes are coming into a realization that the bulk of the income nowadays go into the pockets of the label owners and not the artistes themselves. “I couldn’t bear the thought of knowing that the greater percentage of my royalties every time my song was played went into the pockets of the label behind my songs!” Was quite a passionate statement that one of the established local artistes had to say when we approached him about the subject.
Even though its still a phenomenon in the developing in the country for artistes to own record labels and produce their own music, it’s a trend that was pioneered ages ago. Artistes like Kanye West and his G.O.O.D Music, Jay Z with Roc Nation, Eminem with Shady Records and Diddy with his Bad Boy Records pioneered a revolution that has seen many artistes around the world establish their own records to break free from the jaws of record labels preying on their revenues. It To others, its about the urge to have the freedom to create their own unique music that wouldn’t be approved by other labels like Jay Z did, but to others its also about being in love with music while at the same time having a strong passion for entrepreneurship.
In Kenya, several artistes have started their own music labels including Jua Cali(Calif Records), Khaligraph Jones(Blue Ink Records), KRG the Don(Fast Cash Music Group), Naiboi(Pacho Entertainment) and the latest one being Sauti Sol. The celebrated Kenyan award winning afro-pop boy band recently launched their new record label dubbed Sol Generation by releasing some of the hottest hits in the 254 currently. They launched the label in style earlier this year by unveiling their first signee, Bensoul who has come out to be one of the hottest upcoming artistes right now. With the songs Bensoul and Favorite song becoming an anthem, they proceeded to release another big hit to unveil all the other members of the record label.
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Sol Generation launched their six other artistes in a manner that would only be described as spectacular. They did a bold move by releasing a song titled ‘extravaganza’ that has dominated the airwaves for the past three weeks. The song which had a rhumba vibe with a touch of contemporary afro-soul, is just too hard not to listen to since the amount of talent oozing out of the song is just unimaginable. The artistes who were featured in the song include the talented vocalist Crystal Asige, the vibrant Nviiri the Storyteller, the young and enthusiastic boy band Kaskazini and finally the multitalented Bensoul. They are all artistes operating under the new Sol Generation records.