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Redsan, Wyre & 9 other Kenyan artists who have lit up the reggae music scene

While afro-pop, hip-hop, and bongo flava have often dominated the airwaves, one genre has managed to carve out its own special niche and garner an ardent following – reggae.

Redsan, Wyre, Shamir Tadeiya and Nazizi

In the heart of East Africa, Kenya's music scene has always been a vibrant tapestry of diverse genres, reflecting the nation's rich cultural heritage and dynamic spirit.

One of the genres is reggae music with its roots deeply planted in the social, political, and cultural fabric of Jamaica, reggae music has transcended borders and found a home in Kenya, captivating audiences with its conscious lyrics, and deep messages of unity, hope and love.

Over the years, a handful of talented Kenyan artists have not only embraced reggae music but have thrived within the genre, making waves both at home and on the international stage.

In this article, we look at ten artists whose contribution to Kenyan music and their role in spreading the positive vibrations of reggae across the nation.


His early exposure to reggae and dancehall music ignited a passion that would shape his career.

He is one of the most well-renowned ragga and dancehall artists in East Africa. His popularity has extended to the rest of Africa, and parts of Europe, United States, and the Middle East.

His first album, Seasons of the San, was released in 2002 under the Ogopa Deejays label.

Redsan's career propelled to higher heights with more international shows after the release of his first album.


Wyre, born Kevin Waire, kickstarted his musical journey in the late '90s, initially as a member of the reggae group Necessary Noize.

Together with Nazizi Hirji, they formed one of Kenya's most celebrated musical duos.

The group was known for their fusion of reggae, dancehall, and hip-hop, creating a unique sound that resonated with Kenyan youth.


Wyre has blessed fans with numerous hits and albums. Some of his most notable songs include 'Nakupenda Pia,' 'Kenyan Boy, Kenyan Girl,' 'Mimi Na Ye,' and 'Kingston Girl.'

Rufftone has not only earned acclaim as a gifted musician but has also played a significant role in shaping the gospel music landscape.

Having started out as a secular artist before transitioning to gospel, taking reggae music with him and flying with it.


He has seamlessly incorporated various musical styles into his gospel repertoire, ensuring that his music appeals to a diverse audience while maintaining its spiritual essence.

Ousmane whose real name is Wanjohi Maregwa was a dominant voice back in 2003. He released his first hit song that year known as Dunda which scooped the Chaguo la Teeniez (CHAT) award after contending with established artists like Prezzo, Tatu and Wakimbizi.

He would on to win the Best Reggae Act in 2005 at the Kisima Awards and in 2013 his song VIP Love was named as the Most Downloaded Safaricom Skiza tune.


The musician had gained a reputation and respect in the music industry as a reggae-dancehall artist despite a lot of ridicule at the start of his career.

A new generation artist, Shamir has gained widespread prominence for his unique style of reggae music which has seen him featured in a number of riddims.

Shamir has produced a good number of tracks which have seen the corporate sector even emerge to tap his talent and do music for their products.


Shamir is slowly cementing his place in the Kenyan reggae music industry.

Kevo Yout (Kevin Ochanda) grew up in a musical family so picking it up wasn't hard. Following in his elder brother's footsteps he started out his career as hip-hop artiste but later he switched to the dancehall genre which was more favourable for him.

He released his hit 'Praise Him' which was well received. His debut album 'Determination' was subsequently released.


This Gospel artiste has had the opportunity of curtain raising for International artistes such as Isaac Blackman, Damita Haddon, Marvin Winans and Sherwin Gardner among many other local artists.

Michael Bundi is a twenty-eight-year-old Kenyan reggae artist.

His prowess in making the reggae version of both local and international songs has made him a household name here in Kenya for the last ten years.


He started doing music in 2011 when he recorded his first two songs. The popular rising star started out by doing a dancehall song and recorded his first reggae song in 2015 titled Employment, which was meant to encourage youths to create their own jobs.

He is also inspired by the great reggae singers Bob Marley and Garnet Silk. Some of his best Collaborations are Etana a multi grammy award winner who featured Michael Bundi in her latest album titled Pamoja.

Gravitti is reggae band based in Nairobi, Kenya. It was established in 2014 after the band members realized the market gap and the high demand for Reggae music which is the biggest genre in Kenya with a following spanning the whole country.


The band logo includes the saying ‘Following In The Footsteps Of
The Greatest.’ With this in mind, it is evident that Gravitti has been influenced, impacted and inspired by different reggae legends as well as other global legends.

The band has recorded over 33 songs since the period of its inception and will be launching its first album at the end of 2017.

The band has also performed with artists such as Richie Spice among others.


Henrie Mutuko is among the pioneer urban gospel artists in Kenya. With songs such as Usichoke and Amini, Mutuko created a place for herself in the music industry.

Remember those days in Nairobi, you have probably heard a song with such lyrics play in a matatu or even on your radio.

Dynamq is the singer behind the song, he is among the singers who made their marks in the Kenyan reggae music space with single hits.


Nazizi Hirji, known simply as Nazizi, has carved an indelible mark on the Kenyan music landscape.

Her fusion of reggae, hip-hop, and dancehall sounds was groundbreaking in Kenya's music scene, and it quickly gained popularity. Songs like 'Bless My Room' and 'Kenyan Boy, Kenyan Girl' became anthems that celebrated Kenyan identity and culture.

Nazizi's solo career took off in the mid-2000s, further establishing her as a reggae icon in Kenya and beyond.


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