Music has always been part and parcel of Anthony Karani’s life journey. From participating in music drama and music festivals to thronging various entertainment joints and music extravaganza, music has always the juicy part of his life.
Due to his love for music, he ventured into music production as a hobby in the year 2003. This was the year when the industry was undergoing a transformation from cassettes to CDs. In benga genre, he was among the first producers to produce the then famous “one man guitar”. However in the year 2006, he quit his employment to concentrate on the entertainment industry not just as a hobby or for enjoyment but as a trade.
Being an adventurous man, coupled with his business acumen, he was always ready to venture into virgin territory. This is how he introduced, promoted and made available for sale Bongo music in Kenya in the year 2006 working with great artists like Ali Kiba, Prof. J, Z. Anto, Matonya, A.Y., Mwana F.A., Marlow among others. As a patriot, he brought the “up town” local music to river road working with the likes of Nameless, Ogopa DJs, Amani, Wahu, Jaguar, Pilipili, D.N.A. among many others. This is the same year he formally registered Times Square Entertainment Ltd together with Linet Rose Wanjiru as his co-director.
Karani had some unutilized talent as an actor. Actually he was passionate and fascinated by movies. In the years 2004-2006, he made and acted in 6 vernacular films culminating in his best selling movie “Wages of sins” which still cuts a niche in media houses today in spite of the advancement in technology since the year it was released.
In the years from 2007 onwards, piracy had reached unprecedented levels occasioned by the ease with which copying of CDs was. Faced with the prospect of losing his only business to pirates, and having a catalogue of unique works both local and from across the borders, things could not be any harder for him. Fortunately, armed with the only weapon that is unstoppable, determination to succeed, he confronted the pirates. In corroboration with KECOBO, he crisscrossed the country fighting the pirates, adducing evidence in various courts and eventually leading to convictions where offenders were either jailed or parted with hefty fines. This essentially made him a marked man which would sometimes lead to life threatening encounters with Mungiki. However he was not ready to be cowed in his resolve.
As the days went by, life became harder with threats, maiming and all sorts of tricks were deployed to silence him. Luckily, there were other producers who were faced with the same wrath. Two are better than one and so he took the initiative together with the likes of the late former Kamp Director Indeche Masinza, Kamp v/Chairman Kassanga, Rehema Lungoze, the late Mami Matondo, Mary Githinji, Sammy Jeffa, Samuel Itotia, Crispin Muriuki and George to mention just a few, to form the Recording Industry Association of Kenya (RIAK). With this unifying bond, they were able to contain the pirates. Today, RIAK is an affiliate of the industry umbrella body Entertainment Dealers Association of Kenya (EDAK) which comprises even transformed pirates bodies. The mission of these bodies is to self regulate the industry for maximum benefits to all their members. Karani is the Secretary of EDAK.
His vision is to see a thriving entertainment industry where creators are adequately rewarded for their labour.