Industry Loop: Is Kwaito dead?

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A debate recently surfaced on social media about whether Kwaito is dead or alive.
Allow me to add my wisdom to the discussion. Kwaito is not dead. However, the impact kwaito has had on the music scene is fading at a rapid pace. This is because just like hip-hop, there is a bunch of new kwaito artists, who to be honest have a terrible sound. Gone are the days when screaming a song appealed to audiences. The market that once enjoyed the screaming is now made up of grown folks with high paying jobs and a family. Imagine daddy playing some awkwardly arranged kwaito songs with screaming in the house…topi will sleep on the couch that night omes.

The champion of that screaming, The Dogg reinvented himself with a bit of auto tune, actual punchlines and beats that are easy on the ear. Trust me when I tell you this, there is a still an incredibly large number of artists who are doing kwaito. But their execution sucks because it’s…well it is just screaming.

I love kwaito. I mean who doesn’t, right? We all grew up with the genre, dammit! Be it South African kwaito or Namibian kwaito, Kwaito was dope! Not anymore. Kwaito artists lack that cool factor these days. Kwaito artists lack that drama.

They lack that quality to back the cool factor and drama. One good example is the just ended Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMAs). EVERYBODY was talking about Best Hip Hop. Not Best Kwaito. How is that possible, when just a few years ago, the most anticipated category was ALWAYS Best Kwaito?

And don’t tell me it was just because of the Dogg/Gazza rivalry. If that is your assessment, then where do you leave quality like Mushe, Exit, Qonja now Samuelle, Sunny Boy, Kavax, Waka, BlackSheep, StreetKidz, Magogoz, Fresh Family, 7ve man Kraag, Chuckies and Punch, Satlam, Mawela Brigade…etc?

That was quality! Give me five kwaito artists that you know today, who carry this genre with great quality, except Exit. I will wait. At the awards this year, Best Kwaito pitted Barney & Tangoz, Nyangaz, Satlam, The Multi Talented and Young T against one another. Not to steal their thunder but can you honestly tell me that you know the songs that were nominated, which were Call My Name, Vamenhu, Sober, Nelson Mandela and Fesha? Fesha, yes maybe but what about the rest?

Kwaito is alive. Multi Talented, Barney & Tangoz and Nyangaz who are all new players to the genre are testament to that. However, we need more. We need impact. We need reinvention. We need Kwaito that can make sense to us (who grew up listening to Kwaito) today. But all that screaming and awkward beats? Nah fam. Miss me with that. I’m grown.

I’m annoyed by taxes and kids’ expenses and you still want to come scream for me? Hou op!
Until the next loop, we say “GMTM”!

Song of the week: Dice: Second Guessing
Flop of the week: Jessie Pro ft. Nyairi x Nico – Mbasikora-bicycle
NSK is a professional MC. For bookings, email naobebsekind@gmail.com
@naobebsekind (twitter)

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