The Lion King has been trending for the better part of the week with Kenyan artistes disappointed that none of them were featured in the movie’s soundtrack by Beyonce.
Many of them felt since the storyline is Kenyan based then at least one of them would have been part of the album to help tell the story in a more personal way.
The Lion King uses the famous Swahili phrase, Hakuna Matata which was popularized by John Katana of The Mushroom Band in their song, Jambo Bwana.
He has been fighting to gain copyright of the phrase after Disney took ownership of Hakuna Matata last year and now, he is puzzled that not one Kenyan artiste made the cut on the soundtrack.
Many Kenyans have mentioned that Sauti Sol would have been perfect for the album. Word Is reached out to Bien from Sauti Sol for his sentiments on the whole issue.
Beyonce was doing an afrobeat inspired album and Kenyans do not make afrobeat music. That type of music is found in Nigeria and Ghana and that is where she went to seek for artistes. If she wants a bega inspired album, Kenya is the place to be.
When Queen Bee was coming up with her album ‘The Gift’ she mentioned that it was a love letter to Africa.
This soundtrack is a love letter to Africa, and I wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa, and not just use some of the sounds and did my interpretation of it. We’ve kind of created our own genre and I feel like the soundtrack is the first soundtrack where it becomes visual in your mind. The soundtrack is more than just the music because each song tells the story of the film.
Tanzanian’s have also expressed their concerns. They thought Diamond Platnumz whose nickname is Simba would have been a perfect pick for the album’s authenticity.
He went ahead to give Kenyans some advice on how to push their music for them to get the attention in such big projects.
As Kenya artsite, we should stop that victim mentality that tunaonewa( we are being marginalized). Guys should just sing and make hits. It will eventually get to Beyonce but you need to work as an industry. Sauti Sol should not be the only group worthy of being in such an album we need to be many. We need to step up as an industry with structure and we will make it.
Hopefully, this will encourage Kenyan artistes to work as a team to push the Kenyan name out there.