Music

Kenya has a diverse assortment of popular music forms, in addition to multiple types of folk music based on the variety over 40 regional languages.

 

The guitar is the most dominant instrument in Kenyan popular music. Guitar rhythms are very complex and include both native beats and imported ones, especially the Congolese cavacha rhythm; music usually involves the interplay of multiple parts and, more recently, showy guitar solos.

Lyrics are most often in Swahili or English. There's also some emerging aspect of Lingala borrowed from Congo musicians. Lyrics are also written in the indigenous languages, though urban radio will generally not play music in one of the "tribal" languages. This however has been seen through the emergence of vernacular radio stations that broadcast in native languages.

 

Benga music has been popular since the late 1960s, especially around Lake Victoria. The word benga is occasionally used to refer to any kind of pop music. bass, guitar and percussion are the usual instruments.

Zanzibaran taarab music has also become popular, as has hip hop, reggae, soul, soukous, zouk, rock and roll, funk and Europop.

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