How to Make Money as a Musician in Kenya

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The music industry has grown to become one of the best paying sectors for those best at it. The music industry is large and can accommodate many players like artists, music agents, record labels, music journalist, producers, etc. This article will show you how you can make money as a musician in Kenya.

How Do Kenyan Musicians Make Money?

Live Performances

Musicians make money by performing in live performances. Whenever companies or individuals have events, they invite musicians to entertain the guests. Live performances pay well for artists. Alternatively, a musician can organize an event for his fans to attend. In such cases, they set entry fees helping them to collect huge sums of money. Live performances work well for established artists.

Selling Music

The other common way musicians make money is by selling music. You must have come across vehicles playing music with agents selling CDs and DVDs. This is a great way to make money for both upcoming and established musicians. You can also visit places with many people like market centers with a music player. By playing your music, you will attract people willing to buy. It is a great way to market your music if you are an upcoming musician.

YouTube Channel

Most musicians have YouTube channels where they upload their music. When your YouTube channel gains popularity, companies post adverts on your channel. For every advert, click on your channel, you earn. You do not need to know anybody and it is possible one of the easiest ways to make extra money. There are no fees to sign up for the YouTube channel. You can make use of Content ID; a fingerprint system used to copyright content.

Content ID is YouTube’s automated, scalable system that enables copyright owners to identify YouTube videos that include content they own. YouTube only grants Content ID to copyright owners who meet specific criteria. To be approved, you must own exclusive rights to a substantial body of original material that is frequently uploaded by the YouTube user community. As the copyright owner, you provide YouTube with a reference copy of your eligible content. YouTube uses the reference to scan uploaded videos for matching content. When a match is found, YouTube applies your preferred policy: to monetize, track, or block the video in question.

Brand Ambassadors

Brand ambassadors have become popular with many companies using music artists as their brand ambassadors. As such, musicians are paid for marketing products and services by companies. Associating a product with a successful person attracts more sales and that is why musicians are paid well as brand ambassadors.

A good example of this is the recent unveiling of Kenyan musician, Joyce Omondi, as brand ambassador for hair care company, Uhai.

We are proud to announce our new partnership with Joyce Omondi, a well-known Kenyan gospel singer, songwriter, T.V. Host, content creator and entrepreneur. Uhai and Joyce will collaborate and work together with respect to the distribution, design, content, promotion, and marketing of our award winning haircare products in the Kenyan market.


Musicians get paid whenever their songs are played on radio stations and televisions. Licensing fees for shows and commercials featuring musician songs is also a source of income for musicians. Sometimes, adverts contain songs by musicians. In such cases, the adverts owners have to pay the artists for using their songs for marketing. Artist like Wahu has her song featured in Rexona advert. The Copyright Society of Kenya Music (MCSK) collects royalties on behalf of artists.


Musicians can also make money by selling some products they want to be associated with. For instance, a musician can start selling a collection of products with their names such as T-shirts, caps, water bottles, mugs, etc. To start a merchandising business as a musician, you need to have established your name and be popular. You can then organize shows where you will be selling your merchandise to your fans. This can be t-shirts, buttons, belts, badges and stickers. However, it is not a guarantee to make significant income through merchandise.

You may need to expore the possibility of using companies such as Create A Tee in Kenya provides print on demand services on garments and accesories.

Ringback Tunes

Ringback tunes are a source of income for musicians. Some of the common ringback tunes in Kenya include Skiza tune by Safaricom and Hello Tunes by Airtel. Ringback tunes entertain callers before a call in answered. Popular musicians make a lot of money from ringback tunes since many people use their songs as ringback tunes. Apart from making money, ringback tunes popularize a musician’s songs, and it is a way to market your music. This is a double advantage to the artists.

How to Earn From Skiza Tune

Althought Skiza is owned by Safaricom, to make money from Skiza you must first register with a content service provider. The provider is the one who will format and upload your music on Skiza. Content service providers for Skiza include Interactive Media Services, M-Tech Communications, Liberty Africa, and Cellulant.

Digital Sales

Selling soft copies of music is another excellent source of income for musicians. Many digital platforms sell music, and subscribers must make payment to download the song. A significant amount of the money you pay goes to the artist. To make money through digital sales, your songs must be popular. People need to know that your music exists so that they can download them. As such, to earn through digital sales, you need to advertise. Sites like TuneCore and CD Baby help musicians to collect money.

Final Thoughts on How to Make Money as a Musician in Kenya

Making money in the music industry is an excellent way to earn from your talent and hobby. As such, if you have songs, you can make money from them through the above means.


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