How much are we missing Grandpa Records? More than you think


How many years has it been since Grandpa Records took a break from the music industry? Almost three years. Actually, two years eight months to be exact. Not so long.

But it sure feels longer.

The founder of the recording stable, Refigah, officially took a break to purse other ventures but it has always felt like the music industry also did the same around the same time.

For instance, after dramatically parting ways with six or the seven artists signed at his label, none has released a single hit despite their over-and-over again claims that they’ll survive without the stable.

A diss track maybe here and there from them might have turned heads…but not long enough to give them a chance to prove they have the juice to redeem themselves.

It might not yet be clear who had the formula leading to the chart-topping hits, but it’s clear the six haven’t been able to duplicate their success so far.

Meanwhile, a lost Refigah is now coming back and all eyes are on him to see whether the formula was truly his. Though his comeback so far has been marred with some tough hurdles (studio theft that delayed him), Refigah has a rather impressive track record of beating near impossible odds.

He launched Grandpa Records at a time when Nigerian and Bongo music had taken over our airwaves. Single handedly, he diluted the two genres making Grandpa one of the biggest things in the history of Kenyan music.

He’s made history by his product “Fimbo Chapa” which became the only song used by politicians from rival camps to woo fans due it’s popularity.

He broke the TPF jinx of not producing a successful artist by pushing and promoting Amileena who became the biggest successful story in the history.

He launched the first ever successful comeback of an artist in Kenya –DNA– and the rest followed. Every artist he’s ever worked with made it to the top of the charts.

His stable dominated the Kenyan music industry from 2011 to 2017 till when he took a break from churning new songs. Because of his silence, as an industry, we suffered —that’s how Wasafi and more Naija penetrated Kenyan music industry again.

Grandpa Records had an incredible 6-years reign before taking the break. In almost every chart, they used to have at least five to six songs and that was impressive.

Away from music, for the last two years he’s been busy rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty. From H. E president Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, H.E Mama Ngina Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto,CS Eugene Wamalwa, footballer Ronaldino to Amina Mohamed among others.

Questions on whether he’s joining politics have been flying around. Will he be an MCA, MP, senator, governor or even the president? So far he has stayed mum. Fans might be forced to keep guessing.

Again, it is so hard to understand his moves because he has always been very visible in his home area Kibra on matters of youth, sports and culture. He is been doing the same in Busia, Baringo, Eldoret, Kisumu, Kisii, Nakuru among other places. So the big question remains; what is he up to?

It’s hard to tell. But still simple to guess.

With his comeback announcement, we know definitely it’s more music from Grandpa Records. With his new venture, Grandpa Dynamics –a PR firm– corporate world is sure his next stop.

However, we must also ask ourselves; Why is he stepping down as the CEO of Grandpa Records?