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Awards: Camp Mulla raising Kenyan flag high in the continent

Saturday November 3 2012

By JOHN MUCHIRI

Hate them or love them, Camp Mulla have made history this year by becoming the most internationally recognised musicians from Kenya. At least as far as awards are concerned.

After getting several nominations and bagging awards locally, they became the first East African artistes to be nominated in the BET awards this year, alongside big shots from South Africa and West African states of Nigeria and Ghana.

With such prestigious nomination, Camp Mulla entered the league of musicians previously competing for such awards like D’Banj, 2Face Idibia, Sarkodie and P Square.

On November 17, Camp Mulla will be competing against other African musicians in the Channel O Music Video awards, to be held in South Africa. With a new “Funky Town” album out, Camp Mulla have four nominations to battle in the Most Gifted East African video, Most Gifted Newcomer video, Most Gifted Video of the Year and Most Gifted Group/Duo categories.

They have the highest number of nominations from East Africa and have very high chances of bagging at least one or two awards, if not all.

More great news is the fact that Camp Mulla have been nominated in this year’s Kora awards to be held on December 29, in Ivory Coast. And besides all these nominations, they have also dominated the continental airwaves, with their videos playing in major TV channels broadcasting across Africa. Some of the stations include Trace, Channel O, MTV Base, Sound City, Box Africa, BET, among others.

Label owner

“They have worked hard to be where they are now,” says Suzanne Gachukia, a veteran musician and Sub Sahara record label owner, that have signed Camp Mulla. “What people don’t know is the fact that they spent about four years in the studio recording, before they got famous last year. Generally, Camp Mulla’s management team has done a great job so far.”

Suzzanne also says that Camp Mulla’s online presence has really helped them so much to penetrate the continental and worldwide market. “Besides that, Kenya’s music has come of age and its getting recognition all over the world. Not just Camp Mulla, look at other artistes like Sauti Sol and Just A Band, who are doing great things all over the world,” she says.

Speaking of other artistes doing well in the international market, Camp Mulla will be joined by Wyre, Habida, Cannibal, Madtraxx and Sauti Sol for the Channel O awards in South Africa, where they will be competing in different categories.

With Kora awards back, Camp Mulla will fly the Kenyan flag high together with Redsan, Jimmy Gait, Marya and Sanaipei Tande all competing in different categories.

Other artistes who have made great impact include Just A Band and Sauti Sol, who have performed in major international concerts in Africa and across the world in the past year. For Wyre, who has been releasing music back to back, he has always been on the nomination list of the Channel O awards, despite not winning.

Madtraxx has done very well in the international market, especially with his recent involvement of the making of the London Olympics theme song. Both Habida and Cannibal have been nominated in the Channel O awards before, so this is not their first time to be involved in international awards.

But for a first timer like Marya, it’s a major step towards getting international recognition. Jimmy Gait’s music could be playing in Nigerian stations, so he is on the right path in achieving that international recognition every artiste is fighting for.

For Redsan, something must have gone wrong somewhere. He was among the first Kenyan artistes of his status to penetrate into the international market by even signing international album distribution deals. But somewhere along the line, he went quiet and almost went off the Kenyan entertainment radar.

Lots of people would look at him as the Kenyan version of D’Banj, but just never made the bold step of becoming a great showbiz entrepreneur like D’Banj. With the nomination in this year’s Kora awards, we hope it will be a big boost for this very talented raga heartthrob.

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