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2016 music crystal ball predictions

January 2nd, 2016 4 min read

Predicting the rise and fall of artistes is not an exact science, but if you study the trends and scrutinise the patterns, you will be able to see where things might be going.

That said, however, there are always those break-out artistes who came from nowhere and just take over. These, then, are the predictions for 2016.


There was a time when gospel music dominated the air waves, but that time is long gone, the reason being that the content that is being released is neither gospel nor music.

People are actually not that easily fooled. Plastering a few religious antidotes in search of fame and fortune will not get you far. In the local music industry, there is actually a market and fanbase for every conceivable thing, and you will move ahead much faster if you just keep it real.

Some of the names we expect to continue dominaing the industry are Mercy Masika, Daddy Owen and Eunice Njeri. Our crystal ball predicts some of the youth brands like Bahati, Kelele Takatifu and Kriss Erroh will continue ruling the airwaves if they avoid senseless drama and give audiences authentic content.


Hip hop is a kingdom of shifting loyalties and disputed reigns, so it’s really had to predict who will emerge the King of Hip Hop.

However, our crystal ball predicts that the same names will keep popping up; King Kaka because he has a good business head on his shoulders, Khaligraph because the brother has flow and Juliani because he has rhythm and poetry.

It would be nice to see a female rapper challenge Wangechi, MDQ and STL but that we just have to wait and see.


Music is both an art and a business, so you need a little bit of both to break through. Some artists swing on one side or the other but we predict those who are able to balance the two in 2016 will win big.

Papa Dennis and Jimmy Gait fall in the hype above content group and our crystal ball predicts a tough year for them unless they change tack. Refer to Hello cover’s reaction.

Live bands in Nairobi fall under the content with no marketing bracket. Talented as they might be, unless they start making some noise, our crystal ball predicts a grim year for them. This include the likes of praise and worship ensemble Bethu and Highest Praise, Jazz collection Shamsi Music and reggae sensation Tune-Dem band.

Sage Chemutai also falls in this infamous group. She’s got excellent vocals and writing skills but just not enough noise. Dela used to be in this same closet, but after her single, Mafeelings, and her mega cover of Adele, the cat is finally out of the bag and our crystal ball predicts big things for her in 2016.


Art is a matter of the heart and when all is said and done, you just never know how things will go. This category is for that break-out artiste who will surprise us in 2016, or that washed-out celeb who will make a comeback.

To avoid the controversy that always surrounds these kinds of article,s we end with a disclaimer: In case you or your favorite artiste has been adversely mentioned, bear in mind that previous musical crystal balls have been proven right with time but the future belongs to the prepared, so make your own luck, shape your own future.

This is the category, for those artistes who completely blow us away and then disappear into oblivion. Fans are a patient lot, but if you continue “friend-zoning” them, they will move on.

Much to their credit, Elani have timeless music and a very active social media campaign so they will continue to be relevant. However, our crystal ball predicts, if they don’t release new content in early 2016, that honeymoon might not last.

Adawnage have also been longstanding residents of heartbreak hotel. After releasing a string of hits and an album, the band has kept its fans in a dull, long-distance relationship for far too long.

They had promised to release an album on December 31, so let’s see if they keep the promise. Our crystal ball is uncertain on the reception it will get, but it is safe to say fans will be elated to exit the friend zone.


Love them or hate them, there are artistes who are perpetual hit makers. I don’t know if it is luck, hard work or a series of fortunate events. This category comprises people who have been there, bought the T-shirt and are not going anywhere.

Sauti Sol is a no brainer; we don’t have to waste space explaining it. There are countless blogs and articles documenting the reasons for their success. Our crystal ball predicts that the boys will be serenading our girlfriends, wives, and clandes in 2016.

You can also bet that Jaguar, Daddy Owen, Alikiba and Diamond will be major hits.

With so much great music coming from “Naija”, it is inevitable that one or two will dominate our airwaves in 2016. We won’t venture to say which one, but our crystal ball can say with absolute certainty that Kenyans will simultaneously enjoy and complain about the dominance of Nigerian music.

Adele is a tough act to follow even if you are Adele, but our crystal ball predicts that she will spend 2016 on the phone receiving global bookings and figuring how to outdo herself.

Beyoncé, Drake, Justine Bieber, Taylor Swift are also on the obvious list. The only surprise will be who sells more records than the other.