We are now more productive and so we are beginning to go places

Djae Aroni guitarist of punk band “Crystal Axis”

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. 

Dj Tumz on the decks at a past show.

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. 

By 

Martin Kanja

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”


Can bands expect fan support without distributing their music effectively?

Just take a second and imagine you growing up without any support from either family or friends (I wouldn’t be who I am today or maybe even alive).

Continue reading “Can bands expect fan support without distributing their music effectively?”

Kenya Rocks in 12 posts

Way before Facebook or Whatsapp became popular, Yahoo! chat group is where local fans of rock music interacted. 

What sort of goals did they set out to achieve? How did the rock community react to the post election violence? 

Kenya Rocks: The Vision

July 10, 2004 (first post)
Entertainment  : Organizing concerts, rock music and film festivals, TV and radio programmes, magazines, newsletter.

Education:  Organizing workshops, lectures, tours, research projects, ad campaigns, exhibitions. 

 Exposure  of emerging and latent talent through competitions, the media.  Exchanging of ideas:  Organizing conferences, seminars, talks, debates, social gatherings  Exchanging of records, tapes, CDs, DVDs . 

 Employment creation  in various sectors related to the rock music industry, for example, band formation, promotion and management; music production, distribution and publishing; concert organizing, studio set-up, music video production and directing; record companies and stores, tour bus companies, radio stations, TV channels . . .
Happy Birthday Kenya Rocks (Or is it R.I.P. Kenya Rocks?)

July 10, 2009
Hi everyone! On this group’s fifth birthday, I would like to ask a very important question: to be or not to be?   I am happy to report that the Kenyan rock scene is alive and well. Most of the local bands have a Facebook profile so you can keep in touch with what’s going on with your favourite bands. I’m swamped (with life in general) and I’m in the process of cutting back on my commitments. This group is one of them.   So my question is: should I keep this yahoo group alive or should we all just pack our bags and migrate to Facebook
Reply by Kenya Rocks member

Jul 12, 2009 

I’m not sure, but I think it’s time to put this group to rest. It has served its purpose beautifully. We have created something great and I think the next level is on something more widespread and accessible like FB. I’ve had great times on this group and it’s going to be hard to let it go…but I have to. All the best, Mildred.

Kenya Rocks

Jan 4, 2008

“O God of all creation Bless this our land and nation Justice be our shield and defender May we dwell in unity Peace and liberty Plenty be found within our borders.”  We will not allow a few individuals up there to jeopardize the future of the rest of us peace-loving Kenyans. Unlike these few individuals, we do not have the option of abandoning Kenya and fleeing to other countries when things get too hot to handle. Kenya is our only option,our only home. God bless Kenya.  “Let my flag remind me Of my sacred duty Black for the people Green for the land Red for the price of freedom And white for peace in Kenya My pride, my strength, my joy Always peace in Kenya In pride, in strength, in joy.”
Reply by Kenya Rocks Member

Jan 5, 2008 

i just wish the bloody politicians would feel the same way!!i cannot for the life of me understand how after watching fellow kenyans murdering each other it does not compell you as a kenyan

to put your selfish motives aside for the sake of the country & people you profess to love!!!!!

Proposal 

Jan 5, 2008

Hi Kenyans! Happy New Year! Well, to start, screw the politics. Can we organize a kickass show in say January or February to get everybody feeling good again. It’s been a while and I just think it would be a perfect start to a rubbish year. (Kenya Rocks member)

Reply by Kenya Rocks member

Jan 7, 2008 

hey happy new year to u too the start of the year hasnt been too good but im sure we can improve that maybe we can do a rock blood drain drive to give blood to the red cross guys or have a rock 4 peace concert i mean aint rock all about the love?

Reply by group moderator

Jan 7, 2008 

Great ideas! We can do both. Right now we are organizing a ‘Kenya Live Aid’ show to collect food,clothes etc. To be held on the 20th of January. Maybe we can do the rock blood drain and rock 4 peace concert in February? Organizing is the real headache. Could you or anyone else in Kenya Rocks volunteer to be in charge of these two projects?  And yes, rock is all about the love. Yesterday I was doubting this but after reading all the ‘proposal’ emails posted here, I believe! I believe!:-)  Oh and we should definitely have a New Year’s show. To make up for the awful way we started the new year.Maybe in March?:-)

 

Jan 7, 2008 

Shiku and I are in the process of organizing one in about two weeks. Entry fee will be food, clothes, bottled water, medicine…anything to help the victims of the post-election violence. Who else is with us?
Reply by Kenya Rocks Member

Jan 9, 2008 

forward ths mails to Kenya punk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Mildred Achoch on Kenya Punk

Jan 16, 2008 

Mister Politician Become a Magician, A Star we can wish on.  But your star is tainted By the blood of the nation. We stood in line but fainted When we knew your mission. Your stardom is painted With the blood of the nation.  Mister Politician Became a Mortician, A Star we may die on.
Reply by Member of Kenya Punk

Jan 17, 2008 

 I on the other hand blame US! not Mr politician!. WE gave him the right to play with our lives,WE said we’re not individuals but either [party A or party B](i want to puke just mentioning those names!). It’s worse than those sci-fi movies where-by people have numbers for names! I don’t know if you have been in town recently,You can’t look someone in the eyes! You feel them classifying you as either this or that and you cant be anything else.  I am ashamed to be called a Kenyan, That word to me means Hate, Selfishness, and Kill your neighbor for Mr Politician.  In fact Kenya should mean ZOO, lets stop pretending, we might as well just start walking on all fours, and jump up a tree.Civilization doesn’t belong here, thats a western concept too advanced for us.   WHAT A FUCKING SHAME!!!

About Kenya Punk

“This group was formed to provide a forum for the Kenyan rock scene. Other things discussed are related subjects such as skateboarding, politricks, graffiti, and whatever else people in the scene want to talk about. You can post messages, pictures, music, articles, whatever, as long as its SOMEWHAT RELEVANT to the group. Anyone can post stuff on here and everyone will read it and you can start discussions …. or whatever. If you join, you’ll get to hear about upcoming shows, album releases, and whatever else is going on with people in the scene.”  source: Kenya Punk yahoo group.
Kenya Punk was founded on June 28, 2004, about two weeks before Kenya Rocks. Many of the members of Kenya Rocks were also members of Kenya Punk.

With Mildred Achoch.