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Kassangas Shops Stop Selling Music as Streaming Dominates Market

The shops will however continue selling music instruments and religious items

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The Kassangas have announced their decision to exit the business of selling music after more than 3 decades. Japheth and Ann Kassanga are among the biggest names in Kenyan music, and Gospel music in particular.

Besides being artists themselves, they opened a chain of music shops in the 90’s, selling physical copies of Gospel music on cassettes and, later, CDs. They expanded to five locations including Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru. Now, with streaming dominating the market, the Kassangas are done selling music.

The shops will however continue selling music instruments and religious items.

“I no longer sell music in my shop. I concentrate on selling music instruments and church items like Bibles, sacrament elements and so on,” Japheth Kassanga stated in a new interview. 

Kassanga, who has served as the chairman of the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), stated that it was advisable for the industry to ensure artists’ streaming earnings are protected.

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“Now that we have bowed to piracy and technology is going ahead of the law, we should start thinking of other options like streaming. I was in South Africa a week ago and they say this is the way to go. They are designing a system called ICRC which is a code that traces any streams of music back to the artiste’s collective management organisation or label and even bars any unauthorised copying. This way, the artistes earn fully from their music downloads and streams,” he observed.

The Kassangas made a name for themselves with their Gospel hits, and were frequently featured on State broadcaster Kenya Broadcasting Corporation’s Joy Bringers and Sing and Shine programs. They recorded their last album, recorded their last album, Volume 4, in 1994.

They have also been responsible for helping nurture numerous more talents including Emmy Kosgei, Esther Wahome, Angela Chibalonza and Reuben Kigame.

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