Africa’s Sir Elvis Brings Country Music To Kenya

When your parents name you after Elvis Presley, perhaps it’s a little less surprising when you make music history. What some people may find surprising about Sir Elvis is where he’s doing just that. In eastern Africa, American country music is gaining rapid popularity. With a guitar, plaid shirt and black cowboy hat, Elvis Otieno, and other musicians and broadcasters, have been introducing more and more Kenyans to the power of country music.

Country Music Finds a Home Far From Home, in Kenya | The New York Times

 02COUNTRYImage Source: The New York Times

“Kenyans are not immune to the global juggernaut of American popular music and listen to plenty of its genres: pop, hip-hop and rhythm and blues among them. But it is country music that has a strong hold. Country songs are regularly played on the radio. The Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation has a weekly radio show, ‘Sundowner,’ that often features country, while a private television station, 3 Stones, broadcasts a program called ‘Strings of Country.’ Reminisce and the Galileo Lounge here have weekly gigs, and the first country music fair in Kenya, the Boots and Hats Country Festival, took place in March.”

Country music’s global presence is becoming more evident with examples like this. But as any real country music fan can tell you, with the energy and talent present in so many country western songs, it’s no wonder it’s such a global force.

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