Saturday, 18 October 2014

UGANDAN MUSIC

I love Uganda. Well, this has to be embedded in my DNA by default but given a myriad of factors, that pride is debatable. Taking examples of having more distinctive potholes than roads, more sleep trainers than MPs, more pigs at Parliament than at Kyadondo, the list is quite a lengthy one. With all that said, there is a lot that defines my Ugandan Pride: music being one of them.

We have owned our music since after Independence and have since had it to define who we are.
This is a journey that was started by greats like the late Elly Wamala "Ever green" of the Twalya ko byetwala & Ani Yali Amanyi fame who started recording in the 1950s. He was the very first Ugandan musician to record music. Although he recorded music, he only performed at Sekabaka Muteesa II's royal gatherings. Many tried to borrow a leaf from Elly and become musicians themselves but remained low key. Years went on and still there was not a definite genre for music in Uganda. Congolese Lingala, South African Kwaito & West African zouk had ruled the airwaves.

Fast forward to the 1980s and 1990s, that is when Ugandan music forced a massive breakthrough. There was major sweep of a "Ugandan Country" genre that came to be known as Kadongo Kamu with subscribers like Chris Sebaduka of the Oluwala Olunyunyusi fame, Prince Paul Job Kafeero famous for Walumbe Zaaya, Jimmy Katumba and the Ebonies, Romeo Akiiki and Kads Band, Kezia Nambi of Omulenzi Omutooro fame, Fred Masagazi of Alululu fame, Fred Sonko of Olupapula si Mupiira fame, Evaristo Kawalya, Moses Matovu and Afrigo Band, the list is endless. Bands were very famous organisations amongst the early musicians. Finally, there was music so unique to the world and only Ugandans could identify with.

There are many numerous music genres and the scene in Uganda has gone on to expand to what has turned out to be a major force, Ugandan pop or you may call it Kidandali. This saw the rise of the never perishing music godfather Ragga Dee who has since rocked the airwaves with hits like Bamusakata, Letter O, Monomono move, Digida, Stranger and also famous covering continental hits. It was after his time that artists after artists have sprung up and this saw the coming of a force to reckon with in Dr Jose Chameleone who signed in with Mama Mia, following it up with hits like Jamila, Nekolera Maali, Kipepeo, Valu Valu, Badilisha, Wale Wale...the list could take all day.

During this same time, we saw the rise and stamp of two other heavyweights in Bobi Wine & Bebe Cool. It would be pointless not to mention the Klear Kut, the hip hop fathers of the nation, and the forever enduring Eagles production band. The competition amongst different groups and individuals has paved way for other talented gems to hit the scene. The quality of Ugandan music has been risen to another toll. The diversity of music only benefits those that have spared time to listen. It is so orgasmic the quality of today's music.

With diversity ranging from Isaiah Katumwa, Myko Ouma, Qwela Band, Batabazi, Maurice Kirya, Yvonne Kushe, Ritchie Kaweesa, Ekky to Radio & Weasel, Pallaso, A Pass, Benezeri , AirporTaxi, Ruyonga, Shebah, Irene Ntale, Code , St Nelly Sade, Flex D Paper, Pastor Bugembe, Eddy Kenzo, Rema, GNL, Patrobas, Big Tril, Allan Kutos, Don MC, Cindy, Lilian Mbabazi, the list is so damn long, one can only pray for health to be able to listen from all these people' genius.

I had good ideas about Ugandan music but it is without doubt Mr Deejay (@misterdeejayug) of Radio City widened my knowledge. Infact, his show is on now and I have to listen in. Let me go learn more and I will come back to share what I will have learnt.