By Jude Katende
Being nominated for the Pearl of Africa Music (PAM) Awards is as good as winning, especially to upcoming artistes. Although some artistes have touted the awards as a rip off their sweat, they are the same artistes who will be lost for words when they win something, what with the recognition that comes with it.
It is against this background that those notable ones who missed out this time round promised to pull up their socks next time. For those that made it especially for the first time, it was like close to heaven for them.
For working hard and never giving up despite criticism about his unique style, Bongo Flava, which is akin to hip-hop, Rocky Giantâ€™s Rafiki rocked airwaves and received two PAM nods.
For BSG Labongo, it was his gospel song, Praise the Lord that did the magic. He said, â€œPraise the Lord, this is unbelievable.â€
Though disabled, BSG Labongo puts up energetic performances on stage. BSG and Rocky Giant will have to contend with big local names in Lyrical G, Klearkut and Hip-hop All Stars.
Qute Kaye, an essentially Afro-beat and R&B singer was surprised to find himself drawn under the Hip-Hop category. Maybe this followed his featuring in the 2005 award-winning Hip-Hop All starsâ€™ Mother Africa on which he sang the chorus. Gatimo, Grace and Paragon had one shot at fame and used it well. Their hugely popular Ani Akumanyi has taken them to instant fame and being nominated twice was great news for them. They will compete against the Obsessions (Jangu Jangu), Ngoni (Nasiima Gwe) and Bobi Wine (Bada) for the Best Afro-beat single.
The trio was also nominated under Best New Artiste alongside Lady Aisha, Phina Mugerwa and Dream Galz.
Lady Mariam maybe new on the music scene, but her Tindatiine has taken the radio airwaves by storm. She is likely to win as Western Artiste of the Year.
The nominees for Eastern Artiste of the Year were also surprising. No Engineer Kateregga, Mega Dee or even East World. However, there is Mark P and No Creature. No Creature must have found Kampala hot and relocated to the East, so this nomination must be worth his effort.