By Herbert Bukenya
2017 was not a very loud year filled with monster hits like 2016 but there were a number of great songs released by mostly artistes who had been around for a while and some talent that managed to break through in the course of the year. Below are some of the outstanding acts from 2017 in the Ugandan music industry.
He has grown into his element this year and his launch at Imperial Rayale earlier in the year was a statement that he has crossed over into the class of big artistes in Uganda. Some of his big songs this year have included African Baibe, Lovenjitis, Ntunulira, Am Ready, No more Edit, Byoli Byendi among others. Geo Steady broke out a few years ago with his remake of legend Elly Wamala’s classic Viola. His Owooma song from 2016 with Rwandese duo Charlie and Nina is one of his finest works to date.
This Chemical Engineering graduate has had a marvelous year. Besides being introduced to his fiancée’s parents as husband in waiting, he had a listening party in the closing months of the year and his ‘Super Man’ song was a mega hit with Muna-kampala and Farmer the remix being the songs that made him so known to us last year. His star will rise further as these seem to be in his break out and rising years.
He filled up Lugogo cricket oval and that is statement enough to remind he is one of the very top artistes of 2017. If it was about positions and numbers he would be at the top or near the top thanks to a career that has only gone higher and higher over the past 5 years. Songs like Tunyumize, Ayi Ayi, Nfanana Zuena, Entebbe Ewoma and Musomesa kept him really up there. If he goes at the same pace 2018 will surely be a great year for him.
Talking female artistes, Sheebah Karungi has been the lady to watch for the past two to three years or so. This year her songs like Rambo, Muwe, Binkolera, Sitani Tonkema among others have kept her on top of the ladies standings. There is hardly a female artiste who has shown the consistency and energy Sheba has exhibited in recent times.
He has toured countries like UAE among others because of his Kutama and Byenyenya hit songs. His style that borders on luga flow and dance hall raga seems to have won him appreciation even outside the young mainly youthful and teenage audience that his songs seem to appeal to most.
The group B2C has earned their place among the rising stars in Uganda’s music industry for 2017. They have worked with Gud Lyfe duo Mozey Radio and Weasel on the hit Gutamiiza, done Kapande with Eddie Kenzo, had their own share of hits in Sure Deal, African beauty, Nkwagala among others. They have also worked with Spice Diana and Tip Swizzy giving them enough work to earn their place among the best this year.
Bobi Wine’s would be biggest song this year ‘Freedom’ was kicked off mainstream media for the connotations it carried that never pleased the powers that be but it spread like a wild fire all over social media as the ‘Togikwatako’ debate raged on. ‘Super woman’ a dedication to his mother was another big song of his alongside the song ‘Uganda.’ But the biggest triumph he had was entering parliament and pulling big crowds wherever he went as the politician in him combined with the musician to bring out the best. If there was an award for crowd puller of the year definitely Bobi Wine takes that crown undisputed.
David Lutalo literary owned the local music scene in 2016, it has not been the same this year but David Lutalo has remained up there as one of the big stars to be counted. His big jams this year have included kwasa, Omuntu, Mile and two big collaborations one with Chris Evans titled Nguwe Ani plus the other with King Saha titled ‘Princess.
Her song ‘Stamina Daddy’ started out as a joke but has become an issue on airwaves and dance floors across the country. Having left Swangz avenue a while back many thought that would be the end of her but maybe we were wrong. She had earlier released Kyolowoza a sweet mellow tune that also made some inroads but didn’t quite cut it.
He won the AFRIIMA award for best Male East African artiste towards the end of the year showing how much impact he had outside our borders. He then held a successful launch for his ‘Biology’ album in Munyonyo a couple of days back. While he is not at his prime where he was a few years back locally and when he won a BET award, he is still a force in the industry with songs like Nze Mutufu, Jubilation and Neyanziza among others.
Others who had an impact and almost made it here include Roden Y Kabako, Lil Pazo, Rema Namakula and Barbarita, Fille, Nutty Nathan, Kent and Flosso to mention but a few.