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Four reasons why Grandpa Records is the music label to watch

By JAVAN SAMORA February 22nd, 2016 2 min read

In Kenya artists come and go. But one thing remains consistent; artists come and go together with the record label that brought them to the spotlight.

From Mandugu digital, Calif records, Ogopa Djs, Sub-Sahara, Homeboyz to Tedd Josia’s Blue Zebra, these labels each took turns on the music throne only to be dethroned soon after by new voices.

In this current generation, no other record label has managed to win fans and stay afloat longest like Grandpa Records.

Here are four things that have set the label apart. They also point to why Grandpa Records might stay there longer than most people expected.

1. Grandpa has released a hit nearly every month for the last five years

While many record labels have struggled to innovate catchy beats that can lure Nairobians, Grandpa has released a hit almost every month for the last six years it has been in existence.

Kenrazy might be its torch bearer but the label, unlike many others which depend solely on their “star” artist for great hits, has a wide selection of artists who produce chart-topping songs all year round .

2. Refigah

Grandpa’s chief executive Yusuf Noah aka Refigah has been in the music business for almost 20 years. That’s two decades worth of music experience in a business that mutates faster than anything else.

Some might argue that other producers like Musyoka and Tedd Josiah also have the same experience but Refigah, started out as an artist. This gives him a unique perspective of the business.

He doesn’t really produce, but he understands the direction and what Kenyans need in terms of entertaining music.

3. Targeting regional growth

As many other labels are stuck in “survival mode”, Grandpa Records is thinking East Africa.

Recently, the CEO was in Uganda where he is signing up future star artistes who are expected to join his stable before the end of this month.

Besides, the business outing was also a moment to scout for office space in Uganda, all being part of the grand plan the stable has to take over East Africa.

A month ago, Refigah was in Southern Sudan on a similar mission. There are two other visits to Rwanda and Burundi that the Grandpa CEO is expected to make soon.

4. Grandpa’s style has won many Kenyans

While many record labels chose to invent a style and give it a name, Refigah chose not to categorise his sound and in turn won most Kenyans.

Be it Genge, Jipuka or Boomba, Grandpa has stayed clear of these labels to avoid the usual rejuvenation when the style fades.

Instead Grandpa came up with their own style and chose not to categorise themselves

In only six years, Refigah has managed to build a record company that is admired by both Kenyan artists and music investors.

Last year many predicted its death after popular rapper DNA left the stable but from the look of things, Grandpa has remained unshaken while DNA is barely relevant.

May be Refigah is right after all, Grandpa is the government, at least in the music nation.

Javan Samora writes for Content Production Media. Content Production Media is a Nairobi based Media Company that creates  content for print, online platforms, film and television.

Twitter: @CPMBelieve1