The techno and amapiano fusion, produced by Brazilian music producer Zerb, has achieved remarkable success, reaching over 20 countries and topping charts in Brazil, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and the United States.
The song has garnered over 1.2 million videos on TikTok, with over 2.5 billion views and 400 million likes, making it a bona fide global sensation.
“It’s unexpected. It’s mindblowing. I used to do packs and sell them to different websites. So Zerb found my pack and used the vocals and made ‘Mwaki’ and everything just happened,” Nzau told BBC in a previous interview.
Renowned figures such as DJ Fita and veteran producer Tim Rimbui celebrated the song’s success and its impact on the global stage. DJ Fita highlighted the importance of the song being played everywhere, emphasizing its positive influence on the Kenyan music scene.
Despite the negative narrative surrounding Kenyan music, the success of “Mwaki” signals a positive trajectory for the local music industry, especially in the house music genre. Streaming platforms like Spotify, Boomplay, and Mdundo have played a crucial role in providing exposure and revenue for Kenyan house artists.
Collaborations with international artists, facilitated by the internet, have allowed Kenyan musicians to showcase their talent globally. Live performances, both locally and internationally, contribute to the genre’s growth, fostering connections and learning experiences for artists.
The incorporation of local languages, cultures, and sounds distinguishes Kenyan house music, making it a diverse and authentic representation of the country’s heritage. “Mwaki” itself utilizes Kikuyu vocals, Afro-house beats, and EDM elements, showcasing the genre’s rich fusion of traditional and modern influences.