By Caroline Ariba
They ooze talent. When they sing, you hear something really good, something you want to hold onto and keep listening to. At least you don’t outright dismiss them like several we know.
The radio DJs and TV presenters too agree, and actually play their songs. But only for a while! Then, suddenly, the song fades away.
The artiste somehow just gets off the musical scene, and all we see of them is somewhere in the taxi park scuffl ing with the rest of us on the Kireka-Banda route, trying to get a discount for the sh1,000 journey. Ignore the titles they award themselves, like king of something, queen of whatever.
In the real world, they jump on stage and we can’t help going like: “You mean this guy still gets introduced as an upcoming artiste 10 years into the trade?” Yeah, it’s that bad. Here we bring you some of them, and try to dispense a bit of advice.
Born Henry Kirumaganyi, the soft-spoken, talented Reggae musician was soaring high until 2010 when he left Suudi Entertainment. He was big then, and of the invisible lot in this article, Tigan is the only one who was a breath away from being listed among the big shots on the scene.
But now, the musician, who has hits like Emiranga, Abogezi and Empisa, among others, goes unnoticed. Not even his international collabos with artistes like Marlon Usher could save him when the mist of invisible crawled his way.
Was he raised up and left tumbling down just before he grabbed the ceiling? Was it the fact that he started Singing in English, or was it the attempt at dance hall?
How about sticking to Reggae in Luganda? The Queen’s language may be widely spoken but in Uganda, it will sink you so hard, you might fi nd yourself singing for a drink! Plus, keep away from beef songs. You are getting derailed.
Viboyo has been on the music scene since the late 90’s, contrary to what people think.
Vision Beyond Your Own, known to many as Viboyo, is a Ugandan hip-hop artiste who has been on the music scene since the late 90’s, contrary to what people think.
Born Moses Nsubuga, Viboyo can sing, but like his mentor Kid Fox, he has had little luck charming the listeners in his solo career. Look at tracks like Nyumbani with Radio and Weasel, Locomotive with many artistes and the latest, Zina, with Benon and Vampino!
Everything goes awry when he tries the Solos! Many believe he should stay behind the scenes, yet he has proven them wrong during collabos, but confirmed their assumption with many flopped solos.
Gather some upcoming guys and shine with them while you still have it, I recommend right about now before you get dusted off the shelf like a cobweb.
Kid Fox started singing way back in the early 90’s.
Now called King Steven (as if his career hasn’t suffered enough), Kid Fox was born Steven Kiggundu.
This struggling musician, arguably one of the most talented to come from our music industry, started singing way back in the early 90’s. He has sung songs like Love is a Good Feeling, Nimechoka and Kapere featuring Bebe Cool.
All big hits. When he felt like he was big enough, he organised a concert in 2008 featuring Sweden based Maddoxx Ssematimba, which fl opped so hard that it is believed to have put the last nail in the coffin of both artistes’ musical careers.
Since then it’s been a real hustle, with either trying a comeback of sorts, which only graced posters in Kampala suburbs. But the good thing though is that we hear he went back to school, and is graduating soon.
Way forward? Maybe Kid Fox should just fi nd a job in his discipline of study, get married and raise a family.
Now this brother can sing, and dance too, all to the dot. Sadly though, His thing appeals more to teens, people who are so good at creating hype but don’t have the purchasing power to buy music or pay to attend a concert.
Michael Ross has been on the music scene since the early 2000s, with songs like Senorita, Yoyo, Tell Me (in which Navio featured), to mention but a few. With Senorita, he seemed like wonderkid destined for bigger things. It didn’t happen.
He struggled for quite some years, but then another good one, Yoyo, showed up. It actually kinda put him on the map; he even bought an affordable salon car following this one. But still he didn’t break out. He stayed just about there. I thought he had thrown in the towel until the other day I saw a video of his to some song called Follow Follow.
He always seems promising, and even has good looks to fi t the part. But for some reason, he won’t take off. If only he could stop living in his head!
Michael Ross, real name Michael Kakooza, has built a safe nest in his head, where he has convinced himself that he is either Ginuwine or Usher, the artistes he has grave admiration for. He has deliberately insisted on crafting his music around these idols of his even though experience has showed him he has either failed to copy them to the dot, or they are no loner a big deal that will sell an artiste trying to be like them.
My advice? Michael Ross needs a serious manager who will beat him out of his comfort zone and have him test the depth of the waters, here in Uganda, not in his head abroad. He is not dead yet. He still can do something. If not, I recommend enrolling for high school, maybe he can express some of that teenage swag there!
Kalibala could easily compete with the Judith Babirye’s of this world - this genre here isn’t yet overwhelmed
When it comes to Priscilla, one can’t help but wonder why with a face like that and a voice like that she would choose Afro pop over love ballads.
After all, she claims that it was singing the lte Whitney’s Where Do Broken Hearts Go that got her noticed in the first place. Priscilla, who is also a pastor’s daughter, should get out of dance tunes not because they are bad but because when people see her, dancing is the last thing on their minds.
This former model, who is behind songs like Gumikirizze, Mwana Gwe and Yoyo’s remix of Ansana among others, should stop wasting her voice on songs that will continuously be brushed off and neither should she dance in them.
We hear Daddy is a pastor. Praise and Worship sounds perfect.
With the name you’ve made already, a transition wouldn’t be hard. You could easily compete with the Judith Babirye’s of this world - this genre here isn’t yet overwhelmed. The secular world is just not for you.
And congs on your wedding, it’s another good recipe for praise and worship singing.
Nickie Nola started singing way back in his Primary Six
Arguably the best RnB lad Uganda has had, with a voice as alluring as a table of a three-course meal, Nicholas Tatambuka aka Nickie Nola started singing way back in his Primary Six, but eventually broke into the music scene in 2004 after joining hip-hop canvas with the massive hit Oh Mother Africa.
He has also featured in the All-Stars AIDS song Just a Little Bit and joined GNL, Rabadaba and Mackenzie for the timeless hit Sembera, which might have been the last time we seriously hear of him.
Not that he isn’t singing,no! He has released more songs like Habibaa and Maria, all ear catching but sadly, just like the owner, not popular. All they have stayed is online, nothing like extensive airplay and the like.
Leave the country for a while, come back and splash money Bad Black style, then remix the songs. If that doesn’t work, then I would advise you sing at funeral services, it’s still music after all and I would go to all of them!
If you speak hip-hop; you defi nitely speak this brother’s language! However, singers and rhyme reciters camoufl aging as hip-hop artistes have taken the spotlight from the dude.
Lyrical G, real name Jeff Kintu, was among the people who started the struggle to take Ugandan hip-hop a notch higher back in the early 2000s.
He has had collabos with big names like South Africa’s Proverb and released a couple of solo trucks like East African Party, but still, no one really cares. We don’t know what’s wrong, really, because this chap’s rapping is amazing, arguably the best down here, with an ability to floor the Navios of this world.
But this brother has failed to establish serious management with the fi nancial power and know-who to score him big deals.
Today however, he is rumored to have joined Baboon Forest and working under GNL Zamba! Naturally, I would say congs, but in this case, I am at a loss for words and yelp in agony at how a guy with such command for hip-hop could be equated to an upcoming artiste! I say give me Lyrical G any day and I will not want to know about your Navios and Kekos of this world. But I haven’t lost hop.
I say keep going, you might nail it one of these days. If all fails, write a book about hip-hop in Uganda and retire. I pray it gets noticed this time.
Bottom line. This whole thing boils down to one thing - management. Get good managers with credentials, and listen to them. You will go places.