A note from EA Music's founder… what this site is about:
I started East African Music in the early 1990s as a website to talk about the popular music of Kenya and Tanzania. It's a very personal site in that it largely reflects what I know about the music and my views of it. So while I should be including Uganda and even Ethiopia and Somalia under the geographic reference of East Africa, my personal knowledge of pop music in these countries is rather limited and best left for others to discuss. My goal in creating this site was to provide an overview of all the pop styles and leading performers in Kenya and Tanzania. What may have been a difficult task in 1992 has now become an impossible task for an American writer no longer based in East Africa.
From the day this site was created, it's been out of date and getting hopelessly behind in chronicling the changing pop music scene. Today, the younger generation of Africans is plugged into what is popular in North America, the Caribbean, Europe, and beyond. African music in Kenya and Tanzania now incorporates elements of hip hop, rap, R & B, dancehall, etc. As one who grew up on the African music of the 70s and 80s, I have to admit: I have little interest in music based on these styles. Having given up on any comprehensive overview of East African popular music, I can now declare that this website will simply look at aspects of Kenyan and Tanzanian music that interest me.
As you look around the site, you'll see I've been personally involved in a number of commercial (and some not so commercial) music projects. With these, my approach has been the same; I was interested and had an opportunity to help promote East African music generally, or a particular musician who I enjoy. By the way, I do not sell music or any other product from this website. Some of the CDs mentioned are available from other online sources and, where possible, I have provided a link to an online commercial source. Enjoy the site.
Doug Paterson, keeper of the East African Music website
To contact Douglas Paterson, send email to DPaterson@EastAfricanMusic.com.
Last updated 10 January, 2009.