10 Unique Kenyan Albums and EPs of 2021 that will Blow You Away

2021 found me in Kilifi. And not because of Kilifi New Year Festival – which was postponed and later rebranded.

Still I was living my best life: attending beach parties, swimming in nature’s free swimming pool aka the creek, and eating all the viazi karai I could get my hands on.

And then shi(f)t happened.

Like Sam Smith, I know I’m not the only one. This year changed a lot in us – and about us. We made mistakes, we learnt, we grew.

Same thing happened to the Kenyan music scene.

While going through our internal shifts and struggles, Kenyan musicians put in the work! They blessed us with beautiful projects every single month. Soothing soundtracks to the different phases of our rocky lives.

And like some of us, they broke up, made magic and won recognition.

Just like in 2020, I compiled my top Kenyan music projects of the year for you. These 2021 Kenyan albums and EPs are so unique that they’re either your favourites or you’ve not heard of them – yet.

In order of release date, here we go.

Yaba Rhumbacane EP cover artwork

His new sound and EP Rhumbacane is a sweet fusion of rhumba, trap and benga music that is both nostalgic and futuristic. My favourite track is Mashujaa which celebrates our African music legends, from the famous to the forgotten, from Tanzania’s Remmy Ongala to the King of Kenyan Twist John Nzenze.

Heka The Cradle Nomad EP artwork
Fadhilee Itulya Shindu Shi Kenyan album artwork
Kenyan guitarist Ivy Alexander Majira EP
Wanavokali the album artwork
Brian Sigu Jambaka Kenyan album 2021
Fancy Fingers Father Studies Kenyan album artwork
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bakhita-purge-ep.jpeg

Dorphanage From The Margins Kenyan album
Rebirth Solst!ce 2021 Kenyan album

Dope Projects that Didn’t Make The List

  • Kitenge EP by Nviiri the Storyteller
  • Catch a Vibe EP by Kenyan R&B queen Karun
  • Medicine EP by Bensoul the medicineman
  • Simple Man by our favourite band H_art the Band
  • A Side of Me EP by our very own Ariana Grande ~ Nikita Kering
  • Sherehe EP by AFRIMA Awards’ Best African Jazz Band Hornsphere
  • City on a Hill by crossover gospel artist Noel Nderitu
  • Bald Men Love Better EP by the bad and bald Bien and Aaron Rimbui
  • River by the genre-bending Muthoni Drummer Queen
  • Life Before the Apocalypse by Brother Tetu Shani

So which was your favourite 2021 Kenyan album or EP? Let me know in the comments.

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2 thoughts on “10 Unique Kenyan Albums and EPs of 2021 that will Blow You Away

  1. Great read! Just last year, ulikuwa unaunda list ya the best projects of 2020. Here we are kwa mara ingine.

    Out of the entire list, pamoja na special mentions, ni nne tu sijaskiza. Kunafaa kuwa na Junkie Awards juu ya hii story 😄. Tunaskiza mziki sana!

    Anyway, for the rest, I’ve just noticed tumezi-review zote 🤯. Nasubiri kusikiza zile sijaskiza.

    Kisha, kuna mazungumzo flani ningependa kujua mawazo yako kuyahusu. Ni hoja tumezungumzia sana huu mwaka ikija kwa mziki wetu. Imenijia akilini juu ya kile umesema kuhusu mabadiliko katika maisha yako binafsi, kisha ukahusisha mziki. Kulingana na mziki mwingi wa 2021, unahisi hisia na hali ulizopitia, kuna msanii au kazi zilizogusia maudhui kama ile?

    Like

    1. Asante sana kwa maoni yako Afrikan. Music Junkie Award inaenda kwako kweli. Umefanya kazi murwa mwaka wa 2021 kusikiliza na kutathmini miradi ya wasanii wetu.

      Swali zuri hilo. Sidhani kuna msanii mmoja aliyegusia hisia zangu, lakini kuna nyimbo kadhaa kutoka wasanii tofauti zilizonigusa. Nyimbo kama Daddy Issues ya Polycarp na Reasons ya Wanavokali.

      Na wewe je?

      Like

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