BOILER ROOM X BALLANTINE'S NAIROBI
True Music returns to Nairobi for a special Boiler Room x Ballantine’s global broadcast, celebrating one of the most exciting emerging music scenes in Kenya. It’s time to get down to some high-energy sounds from the latest fire emerging scene of Gengetone. A genre with roots in Kenyan genge-rap, dancehall and reggaeton. Characterised by its Swahili slang - ‘sheng’ - lyrics these beats were made for those that love to move.
30 Jan 2020Nairobi
Since the genre’s beginnings in 2018, the rise of Gengetone has seen a resurgence of support for homegrown music. Gengetone is largely banned on Kenyan radio but despite this, the scene has grown organically from the pure grassroots passion of the local sound innovators. This new wave of artists are attracting huge audiences across the country; using social media, the local club scene and local party mini-buses (matatus) to spread the word.
True Music Nairobi features some of the scene’s most exciting up and coming and more established artists. With high energy live sets from Femi One, Boondocks Gang, Rico Gang and Ochungulo Family, alongside DJ sets from DJ Lyta, DJ Kalonje and DJ Tryce for one party that’s not to be missed.
Counting Zakah and Swaleh of Wenyeji, Eli Sketch, King Kaka and Talib Kweli as influences, Femi One has roots in Hip Hop. Drawing from a variety of sounds, recent release NYOKONYOKO has seen Femi expand her sound to gengetone and collaborate with scene favourites Boondocks Gang and DJ Lyta. As one of Kenya’s best rappers, her headline set is definitely not to be missed.
One of the scene’s most essential listens. Ochungulo Family formed just over a year ago, and comprises of Nelly the Goon, Benzema and Dmore. As pioneers of the Gengetone wave, their catalogue includes some of the biggest tracks of the scene, including Na Iwake, Aluta and most recently Kaa Na Mamayako.
Having made his name across Nairobi’s extensive matatus’ network, DJ Lyta is one of the leading DJs in Gengetone. Not limited to his selections, he also has production credits on some of the genre’s best tracks.
Boondocks Gang includes rappers Ex-Ray, Odi wa Murang’a and Edward aka Maddox. Their tracks Mathogothanio, Mboko Haram and Rieng Remix are some of the scene’s biggest.
DJ Kalonje made his start across Nairobi’s matatus’. Soundtracking the journeys of many Kenyans, DJ Kalonje quickly became one of the leading matatus DJs. Now as a touring DJ internationally, the demand for his curation is high.
Rico Gang are emerging out of the Gengetone scene as ones to watch. Comprising of MCs Harry Craze, Triand and GeeGee, their track Chachisha with Ochungulo Family is one of the scene’s best.
DJ Tryce is one of Gengetone’s most exciting emerging DJs. Showcasing his signature mixing style, he’s one of the scenes most forward-thinking curators.