Taurus Musik – a fast rising record label – recently announced that it had signed an additional deal with Kagwe Mungai who now assumes the role of ‘producer in residence’ at the label. It marked a big win for the 24 year old singer/producer who first broke into the scene with a free debut EP ‘It Only Gets Better’ four years ago at a time when Just A Band was busy redefining East African music with singles like ‘Huff+ Puff’ that pushed creative boundaries to realms never heard before.
Fast forward to 2016 Kagwe is one of the most promising acts in the country, signed to a top label with age on his side. Kagwe has been in studio with King Kaka, Muthoni Drama Queen, Karun, Fena and C2K, experimenting with different sounds and delivery. His production input on the KFCB – banned ‘Nishike’ track played an invaluable part in catapulting Sauti Sol to stardom. He’s obviously one of the very few Kenyan producers with such a big song of that stature on their resume.
But since joining Taurus Musik in early this year Kagwe has struggled to put out a solid single or project, the closest being ‘Doctor’ that sits at slightly above 30k views on You Tube despite the ongoing promotion and his biggest airplay yet. ‘Creeper’ and ‘Bad Girls’ did way better than ‘Doctor’ yet these songs prompted his signing. This is maybe attributed to his low fanbase ‘digitally’. 22.5k on Instagram, 11.k on Facebook and 11.9 K on Twitter ( 11/17/16) is not the way to rack up six digit views despite the underlying talent.
Kenya’s mainstream music right now is heavily dominated with You Tube giants who heavily rely on their social media platforms to drive traffic to their videos. You need numbers and consistency to claim a seat at this table. Fellow labelmate Dela is finding her footing and constantly shaping her path to stardom thanks to singles like ‘Adabu’, ‘Third Party Lover’ and ‘Mafeelings’ but after many months at the label, maybe time is all he needs.
Fortunes could however change for the rising star, he’s a corporate magnet, gentleman, excellent producer and now in creative control of his next projects. His next release (s), coming out soon, will go along way in giving a glimpse on his potential and vision not just on a personal level, but for the label that now expects him to take on the enormous task.
Taurus Musik posses a rare connection to the Nigerian market, urban Kenyan youth, invaluable relationship with top event organisers and media platforms. If weaved well, a self produced and label- backed Kagwe album could not only compete comfortably nationally but could shake up the continent.