Since time immemorial, Ugandan musicians have done everything in their power to outdo themselves.
Musicians from ‘yester – generation’ exhibited their creativity through lyrics and stage antics. You may recall Willy Mukabya’s ‘Kayanda’ or Herman Basudde’s ‘Bus Dunia’ or Paul Kafeero’s ‘Walumbe Zaaya’ among others as some of the lyrically creative pieces from back in the days.
Things have since changed with musicians now focusing on more than just lyrics. They have taken the game to creative concepts and stories for lyrics, music videos and much more.
In here, I look at some of the most creative music concepts in Uganda for the last five years. I wish I could talk about sweet projects like Neera, Street Lights and Pomini Pomini but I have exclusively ten slots.
No.10. Namagembe – Maddox Ssematimba
Well, there are times you just have to sit down and humbly concede that some musicians are living legends! Maddox is one such musician and his Magnum Opus hit, Namagembe is largely why! “Namagembe oliwa?? Ng’oludeyo nyo eyo gyoli. Laba ndi wano nkulinze…” If you are Ugandan, above 18 and don’t know this line, I guess you are on a wrong forum. Who knew how immense and powerful creative works could get?! Who knew that an indigenous name like Namagembe would ever become an item in a love hit that has gone on to appease generations of music fans?!
And many wrote Maddox off! They thought he was gone and irredeemable! Then he bounced back to breathe life into Namagembe, with a video for an over ten year old song! The video was obviously long overdue and I felt it should have come much earlier. It may also not be the most creative video out there, but who does a video for a decade old song and still manages to wow millions? Yes, Maddox did! Like the saying goes, music is a language and good music never dies. It must by now be clear how and why Namagembe won a place in my most creative 10 pieces in the last 5 years.
No.9. Ice Cream – Sheebah
You may think Ice cream as used in this song was a sexual innuendo; you may think it was genuine ice cream, but one thing is clear – this song made it easy for women to ask their men for ice cream, whichever kind they meant! Ladies would effortlessly cause men to dish out ice cream and still not be perceived as childish, thanks to the Best Female Artist title holder Sheebah!
The song Ice cream, Sheebah’s mega breakthrough hit has since become a remarkable ‘asset’ to the sellers and buyers alike. This was estimable creativity by Sheebah and Sizzaman. The song blazed the trail for various hit singles with funny and simple song titles like Mulirwana and Jigi Jigi, to the amusement of the masses. This act revamped the brand that Sheebah is and set her on the path to topping charts and winning Prestigious HiPipo Music Awards such as the ‘Best Female Artist’ title for 2016! This is my no.9!
No.8. Agatako – Jose Chameleone and DJ Pius
The first time I heard “Agatako” and before I found out what it actually meant in Kinyarwanda, I thought Chameleone had crossed the mark. There is obviously no doubt that talented artists are equally smart. I am confident that Chameleone knew how important it would be standing strong and singing a song with a keyword that is considered vulgar in our society.
He knew this was a straight path to regaining fans and enemies’ attention alike and that explains why he is assuredly regaining momentum every passing day. Had it not been for this Agatako keyword, no matter how hard he would dare, it was going to be so hard for Dr. Chameleone to secure reasonable airplay in Uganda this year. This is optimum creativity, and thus earned this collaboration a spot herein.
No.7. Akuloga – Lily Kadima
Much as witchcraft is so much in our midst, very few musicians would have the courage to tackle such a sensitive issue, one that so many people would rather discuss in the confines of their private walls! Lily Kadima not only courageously tackles witchcraft in “Akuloga“, but also tackles it creatively, artistically! No wonder she is the same artist that recently crafted the Nazaala song, one piece that hits in-laws straight in their faces.
If you are a lover of creativity, Kadima is one sweet fruit cake that you would wish to buy from a supermarket and masticate from the comfort of your bedside, all alone.
Akuloga might not have been out of this world but the thoughts that were put to crafting a fact such as this and make it worth dancing to must have cost Kadima and team sleepless nights. The video featured Clarissa Nabulime and several Blakk Golden girls.
No.6. Ninga Omuloge – Naava Grey
My good friend Naava is a proud lady and often lazy at pushing her works. She many times thinks good music has feet, I always say no. Fortunately though, for her Ninga Omuloge project, not even wannabes of the tagged Urban English radio stations had an option but to power play this song with so little of the artist’s input. From its lyrical composition to the track, sound and final delivery, admirers of cool western music had no choice but to loudly listen and sing to it Taxis, Homes and everywhere! This song became a callertune anthem for many, it will be on record as the Princess’ biggest song ever. Oooh, it climaxed with a prestigious nomination for the HMA2014 song of the year!
No.5. Njogereza – Navio
So Pipo lied to you that Navio doesn’t speak Luganda. Steal his watch or cap and quietly await his next word! I dare you, it will be penetratingly indigenous. By the way his real names are Lubwama Kigozi. He revolutionized video production when he started crafting his works from South Africa. In no time, everyone was rushing to SA. As if that was not enough, Mr. Kigozi challenged with creating a mass market song, together with his team of architects, ran to a production house, thought differently and independently decided to work on a truly Ugandan project ‘Njogereza’. And guess what, five months down the road, all the not so creative singers are stealing a leaf from the Urban Hip Hop multi award winning sensational. Navio is a true trend setter! This hit single was promoted by Mama Entertainment.
No.4. Ghetto Kids – Sitya Loss
“I was invited to join the boys a few days before they shot this video” – Patricia, a member of Ghetto Kids noted while at the 4th Prestigious HiPipo Music Awards.
First, a funny, kiddish idea went viral , earned millions of views, followed by International recognition that climaxed with the Ghetto Kids winning the first ever Prestigious HiPipo Music Awards ‘Video Trailblazer Award in January 2016. Further, the piece also helped Eddy Kenzo earn the first ever BET Award in East Africa. For whoever came up with this idea, Kudos. You were creative enough and I thus award you a slot here!
No.3. Speed – Juju
Koncepts and Sakyas plus DFH Uganda the teams behind this video creation must have been so thoughtful about coalescing three ideas and executing them into one. The echelons of creativity that were exhibited in Juju’s Speed video were a clear showcase of someone that wanted to do something differently no matter how expensive it would be. Whether it was the choice of prospects, colors or cast, you will at first sight of this video agree that you haven’t watched any of this kind anywhere.
No.2. Love You Every day – Bebe Cool
Out of the box song! When nobody expected him to take such a direction, Bebe Cool made a brave resolution to ruminate unlike, invest big and work smart. Choosing to work with the likes of Michael Fingas, Esther Nabaasa, and Clarence Peters saw him win his first ever Video of The Year Award, at the Prestigious HiPipo Music Awards #HMA2015 plus earning several international nominations. This song also inspired a full Go Mama Album, an album that mirrors an ardent artiste with a hallucination to build an inimitable legacy.
No.1. Mummy and Daddy – WakaStars Band
Ever thought of interpreting anything into the realities of your own society?? I did but never took any step closer to action. Take it or leave it, WakaStars Band’s Daddy and Mummy act is hilarious, humorous and matchlessly original.
Treating a bull horn as a saxophone, sauce pans as band drums or soda bottles as microphones is craziness enough! The world has never had a piece of ingenuity of this status. You might take so long to give them attention because you think they are local and poor, like most of the media that is already flouting Waka Band’s act. Tomorrow, you will be my first witness when every media house wants to get a clip off the novel superstars. With a highly extemporize and creative mind ‘Geoffrey’ behind this project, even when millions copy Waka band’s Daddy and Mummy act, no one will ever have a match. They take my No.1!! Salute and congratulations for inspiring art!
Bebe CoolChameleoneClarissaClarissa NabulimeDoctor Jose ChameleoneGhetto KidsJose ChameleoneJujuKarungiLily KadimaMaddoz SsematimbaNaavaNaava GreyNamagembeNavioSheebahSheebah KarungiWaka StarsWakaliwood
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