Communication and Identity in Popular Music Videos in Kenya: Suggesting Value Addition For Archiving and Returns
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In this paper I first provide some reflections on three issues; communication as achieved through the music medium, cultural and artiste’s identity in popular music, and the realities of the medium as an archive material with possibilities of attracting markets for artists and national economies. Given, globalization has engendered efforts by artists to produce musical styles hitherto unknown in Africa. In addition, with exponential technological music production advancements of recent decades, music video as a means of music expression, dissemination, marketing and storage in all music genres has increased correspondingly. However, this paper suggests that issues of effectiveness in communication and “rightful” expression of individual cultural and artistic identities that can enhance relevance, market attraction and increase dividends need attention. While the paper does not purport to restrict music-for-music sake productions, or limiting the reach of musicians borrowing from other cultures and styles, a recommendation is made especially for music video productions that; (1) communicate to a multi-cultural audience; (2) project the style and identity of the individual artist and NOT styles secondary to them; and (3) productions that can be archived and marketed for sale because they boldly pronounced various aspects of Kenya’s cultural diversity.