The above question sounds weird, right. Still, considering the realignments in the Kenyan music industry, rebranding is a tool a record company can’t keep too far away. The concern, however, is why the label that dominated the last three years would shake off their hard-earned success. To understand that, we would have to consider their growth trajectory.
Pacho is helmed by rapper and songwriter Naiboi, who previously went by the creative moniker Rapdamu. Also a producer, he created the studio years backs but it is only from 2013 that it started making impact on the urban scene. Timmy Tdat became the brand’s first success story and his “Welle Welle” hit lighted the path through which Pacho moved to the top. Soon, we had every big artist making a record with them and their “Na imetoka Pacho kwani boss iko nini?” tag-phrase became a mark of authenticity. From Frasha to Kristoff to Naiboi, hits kept coming….until they stopped.
Enter Naiboi Worldwide.
I attended this year’s Ongea Summit and Naiboi exhibited as Naiboi Worldwide. Pacho was visibly replaced. I noticed and asked a couple of friends about any known development but only left with more questions. Later, I watched a Youtube video where Naiboi was asked how Timmy left the label. His answer expressed the disheartening case where the artist goes silent on the label (and/or support system) when he gets famous and shows/endorsements start streaming in. Timmy later signed to Kaka empire and other affiliates like Kristoff settled elsewhere. Jegede is still representing mostly as a producer.
As you can see, it was wise for Naiboi to brand and push himself as an artist. And it has worked so far. He probably realized that helping others cross the river ahead of you, at times, only leaves you heartbroken. Now, he can help from the other side but trust is so elusive these days. Meanwhile I hear Pacho is only available for session bookings and other production clients. So, is Pacho Entertainment now Naiboi Worldwide?
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