In recent years, there has been a notable surge in popularity of Kenyan music among fans in the country.
Gone are the days when Bongo and Afrobeats dominated airwaves and playlists in Kenya.
The emergence of the chart-topping Gengetone genre, no doubt, played the biggest part. The ripple effect has however seen new Kenyan artists doing different genres such as hip-hop, Shrap, Nai Drill, Trapuka and RnB also benefit.
Acts including Bey T, Wakadinali, Boutross and Xeniah Mannasseh are enjoying some of the best years of the careers as fans hop on the Kenyan train.
With Me rapper, Young El, is tipped to be the next to blow up as his music is buzzing on the streets.
The rapper, well known in his Nyayo Highrise neighborhood and other parts of the capital, Nairobi, is determined to take his career to new heights.
He raps in English, Swahili and Sheng’, and flows effortlessly on trap, and Gengetone beats.
Explaining his accent, Young El told Loud.co.ke that he spent several childhood years growing up in the United States.
“When we left Kenya I was still a toddler, we came back in 2001.
“I didn’t know Swahili, Sheng’ or Kenyan culture until we moved into Highrise, that’s part of the reason why I rep it in my music,” he revealed.
El became interested in music while young, listening to the likes of Tupac, Ludacris and Missy Elliott when he was still in the States.
In school, he honed his skills by participating in music talent shows and drama festivals.
“I think performing in school is how I realized I can be on stage and kill it in front of large crowds,” he disclosed.
When he decided to get serious with music, he combined the hip hop influences with vibes from his locale in Nairobi.
“The first song I recorded I’d taken a friend to record and he did, I jumped in the booth after him almost as a joke but the people there were so impressed.
“That’s when I started taking it seriously,” he noted.
His singles quickly proved popular in his hood where he became something close to a local star.
He has his sights set on going far beyond Nairobi, however.
“My goal is to take my music international. I make music that can be consumed by global audiences.
“In fact, when I think of competition, I think it’s only Nasty C,” stated a confident Young El.
He was referencing the young South African rapper who has found success internationally.
Signed to a major, Nasty C has so far released bangers featuring big-name rappers such as A$AP Ferg, Lil Keed and Lil Gottit.
Young El’s new single ‘Excuse Me’ will drop exclusively on Loud.co.ke on Wednesday, September 30 before being released to other platforms.