By Jude Katende
French-based Ugandan-born artiste, Iryn Namubiru jetted into the country on Sunday in preparation for her album launch due next week. Iryn was welcomed by her mother at Entebbe Airport and manager Hope Mukasa at 10.30pm.
Irynâ€™s show slated for the eve of Heroes Day on Garden Cityâ€™s roof top will set revellers back by an entry fee of sh20,000.
Mariam Ndagire, Bebe Cool, Mesach Ssemakula, Ragga D, Bobi Wine, Mega Dee, Priscilla Kalibbala, Infinity Dancers and Obsessions are among the curtain raisers.
Iryn gained fame when she teamed up with Juliana Kanyomozi in the late 90s as I-Jay, an R&B outfit. The duo recorded an album and enjoyed fair success before parting ways. Iryn then settled in France, juggling family and music.
Married to a French man, Frank Morel, with whom they have a son, Eko, Iryn later joined forces with Julien Groult and formed the group Nujeli. She consequently changed her style of music to a blend of Afro-soul. The genre that is liked in Europe, but not so popular with Ugandans, saw her churn out songs such as Nsangi, Eko, Ensi and Baami Baffe.
With just a few Ugandans appreciating the style, Iryn studied the Ugandan music scene and got to know just what Ugandans wanted and the results are very positive.
Although some music pundits say she should have stuck to Afro-soul, others think her recent take on Luganda R&B and Afro-beat adds freshness to the local music scene dominated by the smilar voices (artistes).
Iryn sees it as a positive step and a whole new outlook because she will now successfully take care of two audiences (Uganda and Europe) and leave both satisfied. Her Nkuweeki, the lead song off the 10-track album, is currently the talk of town among many music lovers judging from the many request calls on the FM stations.
Though many people would like to compare her to Julianna and her equally moving award-winning Nabikoowa, others say Nkuweeki, whose video will be out soon, is in a league of its own.
Lwaki Onzannyirako and Simbalala, both featuring Bebe Cool also enjoyed fair airplay long before Nkuweeki was released. Other tracks include Njagala Ne Twenyeenya, Njakunoba, Zinsaaanze and Sembera. The album is a fusion of R&B, blues, soul, jazz and reggae.
The launch is sponsored by Club Beer, Alliance Francaise, SN Brussels, WBS and Samona.