Who is Byg Ben Sukuya?
My real name is Ben Kuloba. I am a rapper, performer, recording artist & writer from Mbale.
Your Ndolelele song is a hit. What inspired the song?
Ndolelele came at a time when rap music had no sound and everyone wanted to dance. I thought of a beat that would not affect my originality but will make someone groove to it, no matter the age. So basically, I was inspired by the desire to bring a new sound to both my people in Mbale and the entire country.
Besides Ndolele, what other songs do you have?
I have music my brother, I can’t name all of my songs but the ones we have pushed are Hello Baby, Sonya, Ndura, Nzokesse E’Dab, Mbetsa, Khenisisakule, Dont Worry, and more are yet to come.
What was your first song, and where did you produce it from?
Throw Me Some Love was my first song and I produced it at Samurae in 2011.
What inspires your lyrics?
Myself. See, lyrics is how you feel and express yourself when writing. The good ones come with the good, the bad ones come with a bad mood. I am my own inspiration, though sometimes I try to put myself in someone else’s shoes.
Why did you choose to rap in Lugisu?
The most important thing in life is knowing who you are and what you are worth. Well, it all started in 2012 when I was encouraged by Sylvester Kabombo, who was my mentor during the youth & hip-hop workshops.
I used to rap in English and it was cool but when I dropped my first lines in Lumasaba (My native language), booom that was it. Since then, I just keep getting better and better. And I love it. I didn’t choose it, it chose me.
Where do you produce your music from and who writes your music?
I write my own music. But when I need adjustments, I refer somewhere else. Production is important in my career because it sells the music, so I use different producers. Most of my tracks are produced in the UK by Igumba Trigganomics. I voice from here then send my work for mastering.
A producer in the UK? Does that mean Ugandan producers are sub-standard?
No, but I have worked with trigganomics for four years now so we have a producer/artiste relationship. And sometimes the types of track beats I need are urban groove, which I easily get from trigganomics. For example, sometime last year I needed a dab beat for a dab record and I had only one option. There are a lot of good producers in Uganda such as Weezy, who produced Ndolelele, Baru , Aethan , Samarae and others.
Have you benefited from your music so far?
Our industry is tricky. It needs a lot of patience, persistence & keeping the good music dropping. I might have not yet benefited financially, but I have won the trust of many and as long as I have that, the rest will fall in place. But I am the reigning UG Hip Hop Eastern Rapper of the year 2016.
How much do you charge for performances?
I leave that to my manager, but I would say it depends on the gig; do they want to have you at the show or do they just want to use you?
How have your parents reacted to your music career?
I have lived most of my life without my parents, so I don’t know how it feels. The only relatives I had hated me for doing music. It is a struggle they do not believe until they see.
Are you signed to any record label, and who manages your music?
I have the most amazing manager, Jeff Situma and I am signed under Babana Basha a label we started ourselves and we are signing ourselves.
How do you handle celebrity life?
Haha I don’t know man. It’s weird sometimes but I don’t take it serious, personally. Most times I get caught up and just adapt, although people really fear me. I don’t know but I think I am not yet there.
Any Ugandan rap artiste you are eyeing for a collabo?
Sure. I want to work with Keko for now; she has some uniqueness in her that needs to be trapped. She is special in a way and I like special people.