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Uganda’s under-utilised music talents un-masked


Uganda’s under-utilised music talents un-masked

Sunrise photo

Forget about the musicians you meet in local bars and popular annual concerts, think about the burgeoning talent developing in the community. It is arguable that the music industry is steadily growing.

Note that Uganda is endowed with a lot of underlying talent, but indisputably, it has been stagnant with yet no popular style to identify as Uganda’s music.

The 1990s witnessed the love affair with Jamaican Reggae style. Artistes like Shanks Vivi Dee, Ragga Dee, and others were influenced by Jamaican superstars like. Shabba Ranks. The Ugandan musicians imported the Reggae music culture into and, although they faced stiff competition from other African music styles and musicians at the time, in particular Soukous from Congo and Kwaito from South Africa, they formed the foundation of the pop music industry. But it was not until the 21st century when musicians like Chameleone emerged that a pop music scene really began.

Naava Grey

Courtesy Photo: Naava Grey

Why would you listen to Rema, Julian or the Irene Ntale’s of this world when the gorgeous song- bird, Naava Grey, rolls up the tunes! Grey is the definition of music class and quality. Leave alone the skimpily dressed slayers who hold microphones just to shout at the listeners, for Naava, it is music at heart. Her music will always sound new.

Shockingly, Naava’s songs are more popular than Naava herself. Even when played on radio, carousers will just comment (Omukazi ayimba or, the woman sings), but they won’t tell the owner of the music, herself.

The AlibaWaani singer has written several tracks and has a host of producers including Michael Fingaz, Legend P, Charlie King and the new comer, Davi.

Giovanni Kremer Kiyingi

Giovanni Kremer Kiyingi

One of Uganda’s musicians, who do not look like their music, but has performed in front of 1.5 million audiences at Mashihavatri Festival in India; and the brain behind Pope Francis’s theme song with Fr. Michael Ssenfuma , countless Bayimba festivals as helping artiste, is Giovanni Kremer Kiyingi. If you think of good music, then it is: “Just, Giovanni.”

Kiyingi’s skills have won him invitations to perform at major music festivals and co-operative events in Uganda and the rest of the world. Recently he performed at a landmark yoga event in India, dubbed: “The unveiling of a 112-foot tall face of the Adiyogi Shiva.

A folk singer and songwriter, Giovanni is blithely known for his skills as a multi-instrumentalist, who plays the local Ugandan fiddle (endingidi), a guitarist, whose skills saw him perform for his Holiness Pope Francis at Kololo on 27 November, 2015.

Kenneth Mugabi

Kenneth Mugabi

He does not need auto-tune; he does not need a good DJ, but Keneth Mugabi is a complete musician. It is of a surprise that all eyes of music investors (promoters) have skipped him. An exceptional songwriter and soulful performer, his rich unique voice and ability to write beautiful Afro-soul music, make him a unique and enjoyable performer to watch.

Endurably, disciplined instrumentalist who can fit in any good lyrics at a light cost, the NaakiNaaki and Kibunoomu melodic singer is yet another under-utilised artiste.

Kenneth Mugabi’s music is an African version of Neo-soul. He blends his guitar and tube fiddle playing into his music to create a unique background sound for his rich vocals.

B2C Soldiers

I am not dancing on Moze’s grave but since he is not with us – RIP – it is time for the over- shadowed music maestros.  B2C Soldiers to graduate to Four-star music generals, given their restless efforts in the music industry. A song like, Wanyonoona, is too good to be a hit, but just an album filler, given the unforgettable vibes like the famous, Tokigeza.

Blame it on Andy Events who is failing to understand the worth of the incredible musical assets, B2C, which simply stands for, Born to Concur, is an international brand. It is a music group of three talented male singers; Bobby Lash, Delivad Julio and Mr. Lee, under the management of Andy Events.

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