Family thing: His father having been a guitarist, it was no surprise that Isaiah Destiny grew up loving music. The artiste whose music is in Lumasaba, plays various instruments and he did not even have to go to school to learn all this. DENIS MUKUNGU writes.
Who is Isaiah Destiny?
My real name is Isaiah Namboyo. I am an artiste, producer, guitarist, pianist and above all a multi-talented young man. I was born in Mbale but I am an influence of many cultural backgrounds.
Did you study music?
No. I am a journalist by profession and I am currently pursuing a degree in Social Works and Social Administration. I want to impact communities positively.
What then inspired you to do music?
I come from a music family. My father used to play the guitar in church, so I believe that is where the talent comes from. I have been in music from an early age. I started doing music professionally in 2013 and my first album, Tsembka Tsibili, took me three years to release.
Why did you take all that time doing a single album?
I wanted to create a master piece. I believe that music is something that can impact and change communities. Everyone listens to music, and if music is positive it can be played in Angola, South Africa, Malawi, among others.
How would you define the type of music you do?
I would not want to mention genres because if you categorise yourself in genres you are limiting yourself. But I would say I do a fusion of African music; Afro Fusion, Afro Soul and so many elements I blend from the rich Bamasaba culture.
Don’t you think you limit your audience since your music is in Lusamaba?
Music is a feeling, music is a rhythm, music is not words. When we were growing up our parents listened to Lingala from the Congolese and they enjoyed it. You may not listen to the words I am singing, but then the rhythm and melody will communicate to you what I am singing about.
So language is not a problem in music?
Language is not the problem. Look at Oliver Mtukudzi, he does his music in his language and people love the music, another is Ringo, who sings in Zulu but his music is very nice. You just have to blend the rhythms and melodies.
What was your first song and what inspired it?
My first song was Inzala, which I did in 2013. It was inspired by the drought in the country. The song was calling upon our people to share the little they had with those who were in need.
Do you write your music?
Yes, I write most of my songs, while others are written by my elder brother. He wrote Wolokoso, and it was recently nominated for Best Regional Artiste, Eastern category in the Uganda Music Awards.
What has been your best moment so far?
Ahh… I was the last artiste to perform at the just-concluded Laba Festival. The crowd was moved by my music because I fused it with where I come from. I was also recently nominated in the Uganda Music awards (TUMA) — to me, that is a big achievement.
You do play a lot of instruments. How long did it take you to learn each of them?
Haha. Well, I grew up in church so I was exposed to these instruments. In my Senior One I started with the keyboard before I moved to the Bass guitar, which is my favourite. I now play the acoustic guitar and I think I am just gifted and blessed by God to play the instruments.
What challenges do you face as an artiste?
From the start, not many people believed in me. It is really difficult to impress people here in Mbale with a new blend of music they have not heard before. Everyone thinks you have to do the same things as others in order to have a break through. So I have to do a lot to convince the people to appreciate the kind of music I do and it is starting to bear fruit.
Did your family support your career path?
Yes, and they continue to support me. Actually my father gave me money to record my music.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
I would be celebrated as one of the best fusion artistes from Mbale. And I want to inspire the world positively through my music and life.
Tit bits on Destiny
Relationship status: I am seeing someone.
What do you look for in a woman?
Love, because with love anything is possible. I don’t demand any other qualities.
Bukedi College Kachonga for O-Level, Mbale SS for A-Level, UMCAT Diploma in Journalism. Currently at Bugema University pursuing a course in Social Works and Social Administration.
Favourite artiste: Oliver Mtukudzi
Favourite song: Todi
Currently reading…Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell