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Nikita Kering resisted pressure to change her sound to be successful

By Sinda Matiko December 6th, 2022 2 min read

Afro-soul musician Nikita Kering says critics of her music no longer have a place to hide following her continuous success.

Opening up during the recent Spotify Wrapped event held at the Zen Gardens, Nairobi and attended by a bevy of celebrities, the 20-year-old revealed that for a long time she had been living under immense pressure to change her sound.

Since bursting into the limelight in 2018 with her fast hit song ‘Happy with You’, her style of music has always been an alternative sound not very common in the Kenyan setup.

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Kering best expresses herself in soft afro-soul, a music genre that harbours African characteristics of soul music.

The popular singer portrays emotional vocals. Soul music originated in the African American community in the US in the late 1950 and was popular in gospel music, rhythm and blues.

This has been Kering’s style, an alternative sound not so common. However, her persistence with the sound has finally paid off with Kenyans now starting to appreciate it.

“I have gotten so much pressure to change my sound over and over again. To finally see that my decision to stick with what I am doing is finally paying off, it’s such an honour.” Said Nikita who jetted back to the country having performed at BBC Rado’s 1Xtra Afrobeat Concerto in the United Kingdom.

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The concert which had a lineup of afro beats acts was the first full orchestra concert in the UK dedicated to Afro-beats.

The milestone was just the icing of her successes this year which also included making it to the Spotify list of the top ten most exported Kenyan artists.

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Nikita wrapped up the list with her catalogue attracting listenership in Nigeria, the US, UK, South Africa and Germany. Her hit song, Ex, was sixth on the list of top 10 streamed Kenyan songs.

“The music industry in Kenya always ignores the fact that streaming is where the money is. Streaming is where diversity is, with your song just being on Spotify, that means you are already getting international exposure,” she added.

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