Potential: Singer Solomon Ssentongo, known to many as Ceaserous, appeared on the music scene in 2008 under a duo ‘Smash and Ceaserous,’. The two produced music under the record label Kim Entertainment Inc. This was until 2011 when the two split and Ceasorous embarked on a solo career in 2012. He talked to Lawrence Ogwal about the music industry and his plans as a singer.
Earlier you told me you were in class. Where do you study?
I am a student at International School of Business and Technology (ISBAT), currently pursuing my second Degree in Bachelors of Business Administration. My first bachelors was at Makerere University Business School where I studied Transport and Logistics Management.
You seem to like studying, how do you manage school with music?
I am a resourceful person; I like being involved in planning here and there. You will get surprised when I tell you I am going for a third degree. School and music doesn’t clash because I study Monday to Friday and I do music over the weekend.
‘Dangerous’ was a good song and it is still hitting, are you not under pressure trying to a find a song equally as good?
That is a wrong mindset that I think another artiste would have. However, when it comes to me, I am not under pressure. I have a new project called ‘Kirira’, the audio is doing well and the video will come out next week. When I go to the studio, what I have in mind is always coming out with a very good song. For a song to become a hit it is always because of God’s favour.
Why do you think ‘Dangerous’ stands out from all your songs?
Dangerous stands out because it was supposed to and we knew it would. In 2015, when I was planning a rebrand, I had songs like ‘Into You’, ‘Fall in Love’, ‘Dangerous’ and ‘Sumulula’. We released one by one but waited to release ‘Dangerous’ because we saw potential in it.
Didn’t the public first reject the song?
Some DJs that I won’t mention here actually refused to play the song when I took it to them saying it was so urban and it wasn’t appealing in the Ugandan music Industry. I am surprised they are the ones putting the song on replay and the same song has made me who I am today.
Talking of the duo, where is Smash?
I won’t lie I don’t know what he is up to. We parted ways seven years ago when we joined the university. He joined Kampala International University as I joined Makerere University Business School. It was when I started my solo career but I am not sure if he is still singing. In the space of seven years, we have bumped into each other not more than five times.
You said you are not sure if he is still singing? Yes he is…
Oh, I didn’t know because it’s long since we last met.
He is struggling musically, would you go back to him and revamp the duo if he asked?
Well, because he has never asked I don’t know if he is thinking the same way you are. Right now it is like you are thinking for him because if he wanted me to get back with him, he would have approached me but he hasn’t.
Is it true your family invests a lot in your music career?
My family actually doesn’t have anything to do with my music; they only support me by encouraging me but not financially because I have a record label that does that.
What record label are you signed to?
I am signed to Candy Entertainment; it is a big record label and an Events company. I am currently the only artiste signed into the company.
Sometime last year, promoter Suudiman organised an event to unveil you. It was said he was paid too much by your family to manage you but he ran away with the money?
Suudiman has never been my manager, it was a business oriented relationship that he had with Candy Entertainment. He signed a deal to help in the unveiling and pushing of my career from November2015 to February 2016.
For the short time you worked with him, do you attribute your success to him in anyway?
I cannot fail to thank him for whatever he did for me. I learnt a lot from him for example being workaholic is one thing I learnt from Suudi although the biggest credit for who I am today goes to the Almighty God.
Tell us about your video of the song ‘Million Girls’…
Most of the parts in ‘Million Girls’ were shot in California and a few in Uganda. The videographer is an American called Jordan Heochlin that we got to know after his work with Ugandan artistes like Sheeba (Bumsakata) and Sumi Crazy (Level).
What takes most of your time, is it music or school?
Even though I don’t have class during weekends, you will find me talking music or performing somewhere, or discussing a studio session or asking people how the song is doing. So I will end up getting lost in music.
Doesn’t your celebrity status affect you while at school?
At school, my classmates don’t even call me Ceasorous, they call me Solomon, it is only a few who call me Ceasorous and those are not my classmates. While at school, I cover my hair, I don’t want to show my dreadlocks because I don’t want to be seen as ‘badman’.
Where did you get the name Ceaserous?
This was back then in high school, we liked using the word Ceaser to mean ‘head of something’. I was the best in speaking Jamaican Patois and they called me a Ceaser of Patois, others called me Rasta because I spoke patois, others preferred to call me Ceaser- Ras and before I knew, it was merged to C Ceaserous.
Have you ever been caught in between a lecture and a performance somewhere?
Yes, I get caught in between but I always respect education and when there is class, I endure and attend.
What kind of student are you?
I am not a poor performer and I am not the brightest student in my class.
You never have collaborations with other artistes, why?
It’s not that I don’t work with other artistes, I was trying to build my career as a solo artiste but that was done. I already have a collaboration with Wyre and I am soon releasing it. The other collaborations are with local artistes that I am not going to mention at the moment.
Do you write your own songs?
I write my own songs but I always prefer to have people around correcting me here and there because I am a perfectionist, I don’t like messing up things. When I write my lyrics, I always want someone to go through and correct me where they think I have gone wrong.
What has been your worst moment as an artiste?
It was back then at London College of St Lawrence, while performing with Smash and power went off. It took the technical team 15 to 20 minutes to rectify the sound, we were standing on stage looking lost and embarrassed.
The best moment….
The best moment is when I am on stage; it feels good to see people have waited to see for a long time.
Has the music Industry changed over the years?
I have been in the music Industry actively for the last 10 years. When we were starting out, the fans thought we were just young children playing with their minds. It is good to know that the young generation is the one taking on the Industry now; it is time for the big artistes to step aside.
What is your target crowd?
I am one of those artistes who merge different kinds of crowds. I sing for the downtown people, uptown people, children and the youths who I prefer to call lost in between nowhere. I prefer to call my target a Universal crowd.
What type of family do you come from?
I come from a family with a strong religious background; I am the eldest son with two brothers and three sisters. We are all born to the Late Edward Mugwanya and Mrs Ritah Mugwanya.