Artistic Engine in Creative Arts Industry in Kenya: Mugithi Genre in Contemporary Popular Performances
The paper attempts to explore the position of musical artistry and creative endeavours in the performance of Mugithi genre in the contemporary Kenyan society. The genre emerged in the 1990s in Nairobi and other urban centres in Mount Kenya region of the nation-state. The term Mugithi may have been coined by an anonymous performer of Christian Kigooco sub-genre. The premiere performers of Mugithi song were Christian pilgrims who used to stage night vigils (keshas) in promotion of evangelistic missions across Kenya. The growth and development of Mugithi as a musical and literary genre could be traced back to the 1990s decade. By then musical production centred in the production of vinyl records, compact cassette and later on in the 2000s and 2010s CDs, VCDs and DVDs emerged as musical gadgets in the Kenyan music industry. Today, in the 2020s you tube channels and skiza tunes are the commonest on-line outlets for marketing, distribution and consumption of musical products in Kenya and globally. The objectives are to: To examine the creative artists’ popular performers’ position in the innovation of new ideas and thematic concerns in the social front. To assess the drive and impact created by the emergent Mugithi performers in the Kenyan Music Industry. To assess the economic position gained by the premiere and emergent Mugithi performers in contemporary Kenyan music Industry. It is assumed that Mugithi is now an acceptable umbrella term for both the secular and Kigooco-gospel musical popular performances. From 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and now in the 2020s, this genre appears to have grown from strength to strength. From this end, it is a genre that has created jobs and economic advancements in the media and entertainment industries.
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