Six upcoming female artists in Kenya
An exciting crop of young female artists is taking over the entertainment scene in Kenya, and serving listeners with unique and soothing voices coupled with immaculate vibes.
A majority of them have been mentored by famed Nigerian artist namely Mr. Eazi’s courtesy of the Empawa program.
Here are some of the standout artists.
Xenia began her musical journey in high school, where she participated in multiple editions of the Kenya Music Festival (KMF) and won multiple awards. Thereafter, she attended the most prestigious music school, Berklee College of Music in Boston. While in Boston Xenia began her songwriting journey that she is recognized for in the US. In 2019, she released her first single ‘Niambie’, and her debut album ‘Falling apart’ that initiated her Kenyan fanbase. Her soothing and jazzy voice earned her a spot as one of the 30 finalists in the second edition of Mr. Eazi’s Empawa Africa in 2020. With her latest single ‘Lowkey’ and collaborations with Kenya’s infamous boy band, Sauti Sol, as well as Nigerian artist Mr. Eazi Xenia has become a force to be reckoned with.
At just 19 years old, Nikita Kering has had a shocking rise to fame, her impeccable vocals and sound justifying it. Before her career took off Nikita had worked alongside Kenyan music icons such as Eric Wainaina and Emi Kosgei, which is why it didn’t come as a surprise when she managed to earn a spot as one of the top 10 finalists of Mr. Eazi’s Empawa program where she released one of her first hits, ‘Tragedy’ in 2019. Nonetheless, that didn’t slow her down, as in 2021, Nikita released her debut album ‘A side of me’ that features her hit song ‘Ex’ that now has 1 million+ views on youtube. Nikita has also won two Afrimma awards in 2019, making her the youngest Kenyan female to ever reach such heights.
Vallerie Muthoni aka Brown Suga is a young artist whose career began with her hit single ‘Brown Suga’ in 2018. Vallerie is a versatile and energetic artist, with her talents ranging from rapping to dancing and her styles from hip hop to r&b and afro-fusion. Vallerie released her debut album ‘Pisces Szn’ in 2019, with one of the songs, ‘Spicy Szn’ topping Kenyan charts. With over 12k followers on Instagram and multiple live performances in her resume, Vallerie is an upcoming artist who will soon take over.
Karungari Mungai aka Karun is an artist whose career peaked in her teenage years when she was a part of the now split legendary group, Camp Mulla. Following the group’s breakup in 2013, Karun released her first solo album ‘Sun & Moon’. Thereafter she moved to Boston, USA where she attended the prestigious Berklee College of music. Since her return to Kenya, the R&B artist earned a spot as one of Mr. Eazi’s Empawa artists in 2019. Which was followed by the release of her song ‘Glow up’ under Empawa that attracted a new fanbase that was wowed by her unique sound and aesthetics of the video. She has since released multiple songs such as ‘Catch a vibe’ and ‘Just friends’ that features new rapper, Kahush. The Glow Up hitmaker has had several performances and been nominated for multiple awards including the Forbes Africa 30 under 30 (creative category).
Bey T is a 21-year-old singer and rapper known for her hit songs ‘If they dunno’ and ‘Wololo’ which now has over 1.8 million views on youtube. Bey T’s career dates back to 2018 when she used to post videos of her freestyling and singing her own short verses and songs. Her achievement of being one of Empawa’s top 10 finalists in 2019 paved the road to her success. Since then she has been nominated for multiple awards, performed on multiple occasions, and gotten the chance to collaborate with big artists like Khaligraph Jones in his song ‘Khali Cartel 3’ that now has over 3 million views on youtube. Since the release of her debut album ‘Concept: Vol 1’ and diss track ‘Don to the Donna’ targeting fellow artist Tanasha Donna, Bey T has proven that she is a fire that cannot be put out.
Maya Amolo is a fresh face in the Kenyan music scene. With only two singles ‘Lush Green’ and ‘I know’ both released in 2020, Maya is an upcoming artist who deserves recognition for her beautifully controlled vocals and equally unique sound that she reveals in her deeply enticing love songs. Her debut album ‘Leave me at the Pregame’ released in 2020 is a display of the greatness that awaits her.