We are in the second quarter in the year of the goth and what a trip the Kenyan metal scene is becoming. The growth has been gradual like a lifeform developing in the nether regions of the womb. The dreaming underbelly of the depths of the underground has seen a new light; shattering the vast expanse of the void and collapsing as leaves from a ghastly tree.
The winds of change began sweeping the sceen in the heavy days that brought life into the industry at the turn of the millenium. Like litmus paper subjected to experiment after experiment, that laboring animal has borne its weight and carried with patient grace the halo of the Kenyan Rock Scene, surviving then thriving under various environments both hostile and benevolent, friendly and attacking.
In recent times there has been seen an unprecedented increase and rise in productivity amongst key players; individuals and co-operators involved in maintaining that valiant spark.
The crowds at shows, the listeners on online streaming platforms; all these evidencing a sudden explosion of attention being showered on the industry. Bands have kept on playing shows and releasing music. Organisers have packaged shows for audiences. Studios on the other hand have kept engineering and releasing music to an ever eager audience. At a Platform 7 recently, Carrey Francis Ronjey remarked truthfully that ” Everybody has been doing their best and that is the whole point “. Everybody here includes YOU the headbanging freak that rocks out at DJ Tumz weekly shows. YOU the reader that follows and reads this blog on your way to work. It is all of YOU in your little way that participate and contribute to this ideal. The ideal that this scene is growing towards something and that the interaction continually expands.
It is Irony Destroyed, a band brave enough to grab destiny by the scruff of its neck. They have released a six track album which is a testament to the fact that their legacy and indeed all of us collectively, is in our own hands. It is testament to the fact that productivity and consistency depends on what YOU do. They have been kept on that path by hard work, dedication and a resolve to do their very best.
It is in the same vein of productivity and consistency that hard rock gurus Rash released another single “The Place of Cool Waters”, a collaboration with spoken word artist Mufasa. And following in their path, The Seeds of Datura also released a single “Mortalized Eternity”.
What does this all mean?
What it means is that we are now on a path where the 1st quarter of the year isnt a barren wasteland and that bands can be said to be consistently productive.
The spike in cooperation is also a distinct feature of the growth of this scene. That where we were first individuals that tapped into a unique genre of music, now are crowds that exchange ideas on an online platform, shared a drink at Okolea or Technical University, drew breath and shook the ground that we stood on in the name of music. That the world around us had to stop and pay attention and say there’s something here to marvel at.
So much so that our propaganda has been propagated to other towns and cities. To the ever willing hills of Eldoret. To Mombasa with its sandy beaches. To the green hills of Meru and the plains of Nanyuki. To the edge of the Kalahari where Overthrust hail from and Nigeria the land of AudioInferno. And further to the United States, where the exploits of Mune Mercurial are now well known. And even further adrift, to other sectors of space perhaps one day soon. That all reality will one day perceive that we are here. We are Kenya.
Martin Waweru Kanja is a songwriter, vocalist and multiple instrumentalist that is affiliated with various acts such as “Lust of A Dying Breed”, “The Seeds of Datura” and “The Band without a Name”