Kenyan music videos that stood out

Nyashinski’s Properly video with Femi One. (Courtesy)

Xbenjoes Kenya says many artists speak out against the Nigerian invasion but love and envy their production behind the scenes. Xbenjoes Kenya is a gospel artist and videographer who has achieved hits such as Nyongwa, Double Tap and Irema,

“This year what I have seen more are artists requesting videos that are similar or close to what Nigerian artists are doing in terms of colors, costumes and set design,” said the man who released an eight-song EP, Grateful.

“Some people go beyond copying and pasting the style 100%!”

Who can blame such artists, as videos of Nigerian musicians garner millions of views around the world and invade the music scene and international charts?

“The other trend I’ve seen is artists trying to make videos with dance choreography in hopes that it will trend and be picked up on TikTok,” he said.

This year, we’ve seen dance videos, watched stories unfold, cried with performers, and partied with bangers. Here are some pop and rap videos that caught our attention.

Inaweza Haiwezi – Blinky Bill x M.anifest x Khaligraph Jones

The most recent of all entries, this video explores themes that were popular in the 70s and 80s, especially in the film, advertising and print industries – flowery fonts, bold magazine covers, dark tones , bright colors and afrocentric designs.

The video is a Just A Band story that can’t be better told than in used supers, with albums, Eps, songs and titles to come to remind the viewer of a time gone by.

Director, Zack Adell, syncs each scene with its different feel and story, playing on different styles to make the video worth watching, especially for writers. It’s like a musical documentary that’s been sped up and features biographies, quotes, side notes, and roaring lions. Glow.

Oversized T-shirt – Matata X Sauti Sol

Put together Mix Matata’s signature choreographed dance and on-point scene sequence, and Sauti Sol’s experiment with vintage themes, and you’ve got beauty of a video.

Each performer’s scene blends into the theme and another’s scene seamlessly. It’s a director’s nightmare but a gem for viewers, the video gripping from the first scene to the last.

Kanairo Dating – Mejja

When we say ‘nimejionea mambo’ in their history of dating in this city, that’s it. And that’s what Mejja knows well, to ensure that the viewer recognizes himself in his stories.

Directed and shot by 2019 PMVA winner Ricky Bekko, the artists and videographer cover the entire dating experience, with a “toxic” girlfriend, those with baby daddy drama, some with weird sexual habits, controlling the babe, kienyeji, cheaters and others.

According to Bekko, who is Mejja’s regular collaborator, “Mejja writes his song with history in mind. So he’ll come to me with an idea on how to approach the video, and I’ll add a few things to the run.

Tom Mboya – Octopizzo

Released on the 53rd anniversary of the assassination of the great politician and intellectual, the video is a concoction of Mboya’s speeches, press clippings, colonial images of cops on the march; demonstration in the early years, and Octo getting into Mboya’s moments.

It is a celebration of Pan Africanism and features other great politicians and leaders like Milton Obote, Julius Nyerere, Wangari Mathai, Nelson Mandela. It’s a nice mindful video to watch.

He raps ‘Minister of justice hakuwia pata haki’ to highlight the endless struggle we are in, with the iconic Wimbo wa Historia, written by Enock Ondego, providing the musical bed. One thing that Number 8 never jokes about is its visuals.

He always talks about memorable scenes, whether he’s in a summer cabin somewhere in the United States or on the streets of a European city.

Properly – Femi One x Nyanshinski

A video you can’t take your eyes off of. The choreography was on point, the location appropriate to the theme, and the lighting, reflectors and wardrobe were well thought out. And the two artists didn’t monopolize the exhilarating dance and camera moves.

They agreed to be extras in their video. A different approach but just for the clubs.

Usiniharibie Mood – Mejja

That makes two in this list because Mtoto wa Khadija is all about storytelling. The views on his videos (4.4 million for this one) are the testimony of an artist who knows what we want.

According to the Californian ethos, rap like you talk. And that intersects with the visuals, which complement what is being said. It’s hilarious, true, relatable and easy to understand.

Women – Otile Brown X Harmonize

Hanscana’s visual masterpiece, the video is about beautiful women. But we focus on the one that is the center of attraction for the two artists.

They come to her separately, but their intentions are different. Besides this story, the video is based on rich African colors, beautiful rural landscapes and places, and the marriage of all this with modernity; fast cars, big houses and current fashion styles.

The song is considered one of the best in the region this year, and the way it describes a woman is just too flashy.

Mi Amor – Marioo X Jovial

With 20 million views on YouTube, it’s safe to say this might be Jovial’s biggest song.

A singer consistent with the verve and sexiness that make her more photogenic than the rest, Jovial took on one of East Africa’s hottest singers and came out smelling the flowers.

With rapper, singer, record producer and bongo label Quick Rocka as his love, the banger is for the clubs, the radio, your playlist and the wedding show.

Friday Feeling – Chimano

This soul train themed video will go down as one of the most daring videos ever made in 254.

The cast was selected for obvious reasons, and the daring color tones, wardrobe, makeup, and accessories are a celebration of daring with life and love choices.

The beauty of the video, putting the beautiful choreography aside, is the happiness and joy that everyone, including the extras, exudes. It was like a private party where guests were given a password for the door.

Living Legends – Fena X Xeniah Mannaseh

A tea party, a house party, a space with vinyls and awards on the walls, matatu culture, pretty boys and thick ladies, the video is a snapshot of urban and artistic Nairobi.

Both celebrate the legends that came before them, with posters of BIG and the like as a spotlight.

The color grading and texture are so fine you can almost touch them. Xeniah is chic in front of a flowering hedge, Fena at home at the top of a matatu, the two artists oppose their approaches.

Oh yeah – Nikita Kering

A PMVA and Afrima winner, this video puts Nikita on a different level than many of her contemporaries, especially at such a young age. She seems mature, and experienced enough in love, to be able to walk away from it.

The video is dramatic, eerie and daring, especially in a culture where the dead are revered. She’s dressed like the dead, and other than a sleek Mercedes, there’s nothing else to distract you from the mini-movie.

Add the well-executed ad-libs, and the song keeps ringing in your head hours after you’ve finished watching it. Surprising.

Nyako – Rosa x Japesa

The video had depth, structure, a singular theme and appreciation for African culture. In fact, the whole song is an African vibe, with instrumentation that blends modern sounds with traditional rhythms.

The video is beautiful, with beautiful black people full of aura, confidence and awareness. Clearly an actress, Rosa grips the viewer with every reaction of her captivating face, every visible emotion.

It incorporates real traditional dancers (Kagan Traditional Dancers) to give authenticity to the dholuo jam. Different.

Popstar – Vera Sidika

No video in 2022 was released with as much hype as this one, simply because she tricked everyone into thinking she had lost her most valuable “asset.”

Whether the video was live with the hype is another matter, but it got everyone interested in seeing what she was rapping about.

Well, it turns out it was all about Gucci, Prada, Range Rovers and other popstar items in his popstar life. The rap wasn’t exciting, but the video exuded debauchery.

Living Legends – Fena X Xeniah Mannaseh

A tea party, a house party, a space with vinyls and awards on the walls, matatu culture, pretty boys and thick ladies, the video is a snapshot of urban and artistic Nairobi.

The two smell their blossoms while they can, while celebrating the legends that have come before them, with posters of BIG and the like as their setting shot. The color grading and texture are so fine you can almost touch them.

Xeniah is chic in front of a flowering hedge, Fena at home at the top of a matatu, the two artists oppose their approaches.

Oh yeah – Nikita Kering

A PMVA and Afrima winner, this video puts Nikita on a different level than many of her contemporaries, especially at such a young age. She seems mature, and experienced enough in love, to be able to walk away from it.

The video is dramatic, eerie and daring, especially in a culture where the dead are revered. She’s dressed like the dead, and other than a sleek Mercedes, there’s nothing else to distract you from the mini-movie.

Add the well-executed ad-libs, and the song keeps ringing for hours after you’ve finished watching it. Surprising.

Nyako – Rosa x Japesa

The video had depth, structure, a singular theme and appreciation for African culture. The whole song has an African vibe, with instrumentation that blends modern sounds with traditional beats.

The video is beautiful, with beautiful black people full of aura, confidence and awareness. Actress, Rosa grips the viewer with every reaction of her captivating face, every visible emotion.

It incorporates real traditional dancers (Kagan Traditional Dancers) to give authenticity to Dholuo jam. Different.

Popstar – Vera Sidika

No video in 2022 was released with as much hype as this one, simply because she tricked everyone into thinking she had lost her most valuable “asset”.

Whether the video lived up to the hype is another matter, but it got everyone interested in seeing what she was rapping about. Well, it turned out to be Gucci, Prada, Range Rovers and other popstar items in his popstar life. The rap wasn’t exciting, but the video exuded debauchery. And that’s his mark.

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