It has been a jolly good year for Kenya\u2019s showbiz scene, as positive vibes outdid the negative side of the business. MANUEL NTOYAI looks at 2019\u2019s ups and downs in music The rise of Gengetone It is called the new wave of Kenyan music, but in 2019 Gengetone has attracted both positive and negative criticism. Many critics agree its rise warded off foreign music, especially from West Africa and other parts of the continent. Groups and artistes such as Sailors, Boodocks Gang, Ethic, Ochungulo Family, Zzero Sufuri and Fat Boy Gwaash have courted both the good and bad vibe with the new sub-genre of Genge music. This young generation of Kenyan musicians has been accused of moral decadence in their lyrics, with the Kenya Film Classification Board saying they went above the prescribed limitations of self-expression with their type of music. Their songs were banned. But this hasn\u2019t done anything to stop the rising force of Gengetone from making trends. \u00a0 Willy Paul goes secular After years of making music in the gospel circles, there had been indications Willy Paul is panning his brand towards the secular. And it came out so clearly this year. As always, Pozze did not disappoint as he released a couple of songs that showed the direction he has chosen. His sensational release of a collaboration project titled Hallelujah with Tanzanian singer Nandy in March this year in Nairobi was coupled by on-stage stunts that announced his chosen course. Rise and rise of Masauti When he first came onto the scene, singer Mohammed Ali Said aka Masauti was under the tutelage of legendary music producer Tedd Josiah and was dubbed the new prince of SwaR&B (Kiswahili R&B). After a couple of years bubbling under, the Mombasa-born and bred artiste\u2019s star has risen to unprecedented degrees. Signed under Dream Nation, Masauti\u2019s recent music projects of 2019 including his collabos with Khaligraph Jones (Kiboko Remix), Wasafi\u2019s Lava Lava (Dondosha) and Skales from Nigeria (Lege) have seen his career assume an upward trajectory.\u00a0 The fall of Otile Brown Following his fallout with socialite Vera Sidika late last year, singer Otile Brown\u2019s rise in the ranks has rapidly taken a nosedive. Industry pundits have been quick to point out a number of issues leading to this, but the common denominator has been his alleged fallout with comedian Jalang\u2019o. Despite being part of the mainstream artistes who have tried to surf on the Gengetone wave, his collabo with Ethic has not done much justice to his brand either. His label, Just In Love, also lost out on working with fast-rising singer Jovial, who was snatched under their nose by Hailemind Entertainment. It hasn\u2019t been a good year for Brown, especially adding to his recent road accident where he knocked two people in Nairobi while driving his white Mercedes Benz. Reggae gets stronger It has been a jolly good time for reggae faithful in the 254! All year through, they have been treated to a good reggae concert after another. Except for the Jah Cure gig in Nairobi dubbed Umoja Splash Festival in July and the much-hyped Morgan Heritage concert at Kasarani that flopped terribly, the rest have been more than satisfying. With this, we\u2019ve also seen the rise of reggae outfits such as the Moh Spice Entertainment with it\u2019s founder DJ Moh continuing to impress on the international stage. His outfit has been hailed for organising one of the best reggae concerts in Kenya this year, when it hosted Jamaican duo Duane Stephenson and Daville in Nairobi in July. Other reggae greats including Etana, Tarrus Riley, Everton Blender, Alpha Blondy and Chris Martin have all graced the scene in 2019.\u00a0 DeMathew\u2019s passing on and the birth of the sensational Samidoh Legendary Gikuyu benga artiste John De\u2019Mathew passed on this August following a fatal road accident in Thika. Millions of his fans (including President Uhuru Kenyatta) and music players mourned the singer, heaping praise on his music composing ingenuity. Many benga music lovers felt his death left them in a limbo. With De\u2019Mathew almost the last of his kind, the future of Gikuyu benga seemed bleak. However, with the emergence and unprecedented rise of the much-loved mugithi singer Samidoh, lies the hope of a whole generation of Gikuyu music lovers. Samidoh\u2019s brand equity has grown tremendously. Currently, the 29-year-old singer and police officer is fully booked until February 2020. Diamond unites East Africa Bongo star Diamond Platnumz has been having a good period with his career and personal life. After splitting with Ugandan socialite Zari Hassan and having an affair and siring a child with Tanzanian video vixen Hamisa Mobetto, the Kwangwaru hit singer has had his eyes on uniting the region, quite literally. Just a few weeks ago, Diamond and Kenyan radio presenter Tanasha Donna welcomed their son, Naseeb Junior, a move that has been seen as a deliberate effort to \u2018cement relations\u2019 between East African nations Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.