Should Kenyan Artists Sing In English To Break Into Global Markets?

Conversations on why Kenyan music is not penetrating the global market has been ongoing for several years, and artists are now saying singing in English might be the solution.

Otile Brown and Bien’s Sentiments on Why Kenyan Artists Should Sing in English

Speaking after his US tour, Otile Brown said language barrier is one of the main reasons Kenyan music is not competing in the global market.

The singer said what’s setting apart the Kenyan and Nigerian music industry is language.

“The truth, the difference between our industry and the Nigerian industry is language.”

Otile Brown pointed out that his song ‘Bounce’ with Lexil is one of the best-performing songs on Spotify simply because it’s heavily sung in English…

Go to global platforms like Spotify and see how a song like Bounce by Lexil featuring me is doing.”

“A song that some of you don’t even mess with has Lexil among the most streamed artist on Spotify from East Africa on Spotify.

It’s the sound and English that was used in the song making it relatable to many people in the world,” He said.

Bien on How Kenyan Artists Can Break into the Global Market.

Bien had the same conversation with music producer Eric Musyoka and Marek Fox ‘Bald Box Sessions’ a few months ago.

“It’s important for us as Kenyans to understand that if we want to break global markets we have to speak in tones they understand.” Said Bien.

He added; “Where we are at right now, the thing that is really hurting us is the numbers game.”

Speaking on why Nigeria is penetrating other markets, Sauti Sol’s lead vocalist said,

“Nigeria speaks Pidgin, and Pidgin is a sister of English, so you are going to get couple of things here and there.”

Coming from a Kenyan side, you really want to appeal, you need to adjust a little.