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Local music industry is evolving and the competition is fierce, only the fittest survive. No musician ever sets out to be a one-hit wonder. Even the most opportunistic individuals in the music industry always wants to maximise on that main stream popularity and hope to sustain it. Some artists dubbed “one-hit wonders” have had great success with only one song. They live to be appreciated for creating an anthem that was sang in every corner of the country. Here are musicians who flickered out.

Q-Tac, Narudi Ocha. Q-TAC was one funny character. His famous song ‘Narudi ocha’ was a huge hit.
So was he actually serious about going back to ocha (upcountry)? Honestly, with the current state of the economy and the high cost of living, maybe this hit was meant for our time. It was a funny yet very informative song about the state of the economy and the everyday struggles of a common hustler living in the city. The cost of living had gotten better of him, and his last resort was to return to upcountry (ocha). Q-TAC vanished after the song with none of his other projects ever gaining popularity.And with time, his name vanished from peoples’ memories, only his song remaining to hold his legacy.

Czars, Amka Ukatike. Czars took the industry by storm, making a name for himself and becoming
one of the artistes the future of the industry looked up to. Hailing from Bamburi, Mohammed Abdul Karim, aka Czars, made a grand entrance into the industry at a very young age with his hit song ‘Amka ukatike.’
He produced the song while still in high school, at Kilindini Secondary in Mombasa, and everybody was thrilled by the talent the boy oozed. He was destined for great things as his song became an anthem and his name a household name within the city. However, he went missing in October 2006. Rumours of his re-emergence in 2016 were quickly dismissed. Since then, we have never heard from him again.

Chantelle, Tokelezea. Chantelle was seen as one of the greatest future rappers, however this never came to pass. The ‘Tokelezea’ hit maker dominated the airwaves after teaming up with rapper Abbas to create a chart buster. However, after that she started dating J Blessing and went quiet for over five years. She only hit the headlines again when claims of cheating emerged between her and J Blessing before the couple broke up. She even claimed they never got married in the first place as fans thought. Her priorities ever since have changed and I don’t think music is among them anymore.

Boomba Clan, Chonga Viazi. This song  was one of the most popular and creative hits in the country. The self-proclaimed hood kings immediately became celebrities after releasing this song. The rather comical singing group gave the street phrase ‘utachonga viazi’ a lot of oomph that it became a popular urban phrase. The track breathed life into Calif Records to a great extent back in 2009. However, after that, they tried releasing other tracks which flopped. Maybe their creative juices dried out.

Circuit And Joel, Juala (Manyake). Circuit and Joel hit the airwaves with their hit song ‘Juala’ which was popularly known as ‘Manyake’. It is, however, disappointing that they disappeared from the limelight just as fast as they had emerged out of nowhere unannounced. They are the perfect example of instant fame. Joel attributed their fast downfall to unexpected fame, money and women.The song, which was originally named ‘Juala’ acquired great clout to an extent that the fans forcefully renamed it ‘Manyake’. The influence of the song was massive. However, it’s quite a shame they never lived to sustain the influence they had created for themselves. Circuit is nowadays saved.

Sema, Leta Wimbo. The trio of Kevo, Pam and Sana who collectively made up the Sema group broke out after the 2004 Coca Cola popstar talent search. They were an amazing talented crop of artistes who did a wonderful job on the track ‘Leta wimbo’. Unfortunately, barely a year later, they split and we have never had from them again. Later Pam suffered alcohol addiction and has been in and out of rehab a couple of times. Sainaipei Tande, who is the only one left standing giving us a taste of her beautiful vocals stated in a recent interview that she hasn’t heard from Kevo for quite a while. She only mentions hearing a friend claim he performs with another band at a famous joint in the city.She made it clear that the group never had a ‘bond’, they were just talented acts who met for a common purpose and when the purpose died, the group died with it.

The new generation of creatives within the local music industry have also had their fair share of one-hit wonders. This has been massively fuelled by the existence of various digital platforms that have made the world a global village. It is quite easier to break out of nowhere compared to a decade ago.Most of today’s artistes make their breakthrough within the digital space before amplifying that during live shows and tours.


Msupa S. She is one of the most confident female rappers out there who is committed to doing whatever it takes to be great. The self-proclaimed Kale hip-hop queen, hit the rap scene with a bang when her single ‘hello hello’ went viral on social media. With a great digital hype during that period,Khaligraph offered her a collabo that propelled her to instant fame. However,after that, it seems the light shave dimmed. She has since gone silent, with attempts of a comeback proving futile.

CashyMiss. Cashy, who was brought to the limelight by Khaligraph Jones through
the hit collabo, ‘Micasa Sucasa’ has also been having her own struggles. After the track gained massive approval from the fans, Cashy was left clouded under the OGs hype and disappeared from the music scene. Her instant fame seemed over before she emerged again with a single dubbed ‘Naitwa Cashy’and claims of physical abuse by Khaligraph during their relationship. Was she really being honest or was it just a publicity stunt to remain relevant?

Vicmass, Luo Dollar. The Bank Otuch creative can never be ruled out of this conversation. The hit-maker announced his arrival on the national stage in a huge way, combining his creative style and rapping talent to come up with unique content for his fans.He caught the eyes of Octopizzo who propelled him to fame with a collabo.However, the future ‘Jidenna’ would not live up to the expectations. With several attempts of a comeback tumbling down as fast as he made an effort.

For more information on music grab a copy of The Outsyder in The Nairobian every Friday.


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