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.
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.
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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