Unfulfilled Dreams: A week before he was beaten up, Danz Kumapeesa had an interview with Isaac Ssejjombwe. In the interview, the fast-rising producer shared how he got into the music business and where he saw himself next.
How would you describe yourself?
I am a determined young man doing my best to lay a legacy in the music industry home and away. I love God first, music second then the rest follow. I am a music producer, director and composer.
Who is a producer?
A producer is a co-creator of music, a director and a musician with an extra factor.
Who inspired you to start recording music?
A very close friend, who had a studio in Seeta. He gave me a chance to improve my production skills at his studio and also taught me things I did not know.
Who is this person?
I am afraid I cannot disclose his name.
Where did the name Danz Kumapeesa come from?
My real name is Daniel Mukisa. The name Danz Kumapeesa was originally Danz Production, but a friend, who is a songwriter and really loved my piano skills decided to change it. He connected the name to the piano.
Why of all careers did you decide to be a producer?
Being a producer was a calling because I was destined for this. I really love music production and besides that, I earn from it.
Being destined for this? What is the story?
I grew up in church and that is where I learnt to play the piano. I later developed those skills to something more important, something that would not make me regret all the time I spent learning the piano and that was music production. From church, I worked with three different studios before joining Jahlive, where I am working now.
Which studios are those?
I worked with Concave in Kireka, Trinity Records in Mutungo and J Power.
What are some of the songs you have produced?
I have done quite a number of songs and hit songs. I did Musawo and Magic by Winnie Nwagi, Yo Sweet by Rema Namakula, Mbozi za Malwa by Bebe Cool & Sauti Sol, Nkubanja by Lydia Jazmine, Shauri Yako by Kenzo, Nakupenda by Fille, Tuseyeeya by Grace Nakimera, among others.
Among those songs, which is your best and why?
I would say Musawo because it introduced me to the industry. I had done a number of songs but they never became hits. So Musawo was the one that gave me a platform.
We thought Mbozi za Malwa was your best because of the big names on the song?
If it was not Musawo, I do not think I would have produced any other big song. But Mbozi za Malwa is definitely among my best because it has helped my brand go international.
Which producers do you look up to?
I look upto many producers but the ones I have always admired are Legendary Beatz, Calvin Harris, Major Lazor & Danz Kumapeesa.
What is your goal as a producer?
To have a big record label that does audio production, video production, commercials and signs artistes. I will make sure I achieve that dream but only if God lets me.
Tell me about your family and school background?
I do not like talking about my family. But I completed my High School at St Johns Mukono then branched to music.
Who is the easiest artiste to work with?
That would be Dokta Brain, the writer behind Musawo. Many people know him as just a songwriter but he is a musician too. He has never given me problems while in studio.
Which artiste do you dream of working with?
The day I will work with Adele or Chris Brown is the day I would consider myself successful. To me, they are the most complete artistes.
What music style are you comfortable with?
I can do all styles of music but zouk, dancehall and Rn’B are the ones I can do any day any time.
What would you be if you were not a producer?
Because I really love being smart and people learning from me, I think I would be a teacher.
What challenges have you faced as a budding producer?
The only challenge is people wanting quality music for little money and this is mainly done by upcoming artistes. I do not blame them so much because they are also hustling but quality work comes at a cost.
What is your greatest achievement in music?
I would say producing hits for some of the biggest artistes in Uganda and I am still doing so.
Meeting fate and save attempts
Daniel Mukisa known to many as Danz Kumapeesa was one of Ugandans youngest producers, having died aged only 23.Daniel Mukisa known to many as Danz Kumapeesa was one of Ugandans youngest producers, having died aged only 23.Danz Kumapeesa who was only about three years old on the Ugandan music scene, had gained the trust of artistes such as Winnie Nwagi, Rema, Eddy Kenzo and Bebe Cool who also introduced him to Kenyan Singers Sauti Sol to produce a hit song, Mbozi Za Malwa, a song that topped many East African charts.Kumapeesa, who had began enjoying the limelight, met his fate on the night of June 30 when he was attacked by unknown thieves at his home in Kasubi.
Car Wash and charity concert
As it has become a culture, a car wash was organised to raise funds to save the producer. Different celebrities, fans and well-wishers on July 1 turned up at Panamera Bar in Naguru. Although not well attended, they managed to raise Shs7m, but it was not enough.
Later when his condition was said to worsen, Bebe Cool visited Nsambya hospital and handed Danz’ mother Shs5m, with a pledge to other artistes to contribute to save the young man’s life. A charity concert followed at Calendar Guest House in Makindye, and despite the impressive turn up, only Shs3m was reportedly collected.
By the time the concert was staged, Danz had been discharged and was now being taken care of by his mother at home. And just when the world had gained hope for his recovery, news broke on social media that the promising producer had breathed his last on his way to Nsambya Hospital for review.
Bebe Cool on Danz Kumapeesa
“I meet Danz through my good friend Oman Rafiki. We went to his studio and he was so happy to see me but unfortunately, we did not speak more than 10 words. He greeted me, showed me to the recording booth, I recorded my parts in the song, I asked him if I could listen to what he had recorded, and he nodded in approval. I then asked him if I could add anything else and he said nothing, I told him I was sending my part to Sauti Sol, he approved and I told him I would be sending him the money later. He nodded and two days I sent him Shs1m,” Bebe Cool at Danz’ vigil.
“I got to know about Danz through a friend called Dokta Brain, who has a song with Tip Swizzy. I asked Brain who the producer was and he told me it was Danz. We scheduled to meet but because of my busy schedule, I kept disappointing him but he was so persistent and after three times, we met and did Shauri Yako, which is doing so well.”
“I know some producers are happy that Danz is dead. They think he was occupying their position but that is not the case. His luck is not anyone’s luck. He had set the bar high and the entire music fraternity should mourn his death. Producers, musicians, writers and music consumers are all at a loss.”
From social media
@eddykenzo I remember the day I woke you up at 2am in the night to come and work on a project with @chidinmaekile it was very late in the night but you picked my call and came immediately. And not only that time you always have been so easy on me. Brother you have 4 songs on my new Album BIOLOGY which are doing very good in the market right now. We had alot of plans for the future But God knows why he called you this early blood. I will always remember you And pray for you my bro. Rest in peace @danz_kumapeesa
Sautisol It is with pain, grief and sorrow that we accept God’s will. A good heart has stopped beating, a good soul ascended to heaven. RIP Danz Kumapesa, thank you for blessing us with a big tune, MBOZI ZA MALWA is banging everywhere. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. May the almighty Lord grant them comfort, peace and strength during this transition.
Lwanga Douglas OMG iam short of words… DANZ KUMAPESA Dead? God waking up to this news seems unreal… what wrong did he do poor boy to get beaten by goons? Who were these people who caused this to him, shall we ever know? How I wish there was a chance for him to tell us what happened….and the goons now will rejoice but guess what your turn will be soon too. We all won’t live forever! We will never know what or who killed AK47, the mysterious death of SERA as no one has ever been brought to book. Guess what, we might not know but God knows and we all won’t and can’t live forever.
May God comfort Danz family and all I can say may his soul rest in peace. May his soul be judged with mercy. The music u created will live on…..DANZ you fought a good fight bro. You fought a good fight.
Gone too soon! REST IN PEACE DANZ KUMAPESA!
Rahmah Mbabazi Kanyomozi Gone to soon young man,You put up a good fight and may your soul rest in eternal peace..#Danzkumapeesa
@julianakanyomozi You left your incredible mark in the music industry. You’ll never be forgotten.
Rest In Peace Danz Kumapeesa
Lydia Jazmine You faught a good war but God has called you home. Your works will always live on and forever. You will never be forgotten RIP DANZ
Frank Jahlive In life we only live today about tomorrow GOD knows R.I.P DANZ KUMAPEESA
@pallasomusic Met a young producer in a ghetto studio in Makindye three years ago. His name was Danny. Who woulda known he was on his way to a legacy of hits and then leave us so soon. R.I.P Danz. Didn’t really get to Know him so much but his talent was Loud. May God strengthen the Family.
Dokta Brain Musik It’s a lonely walk without you Bro… I hope it’s not the same that side across the river.
May your Soul Rest In Eternal Peace, young King.
Blessings follow your name and legacy, the keyboads will miss your touch and we believe many melodies have gone to Heaven with you and we hope to find you seated on the right side of the almighty Father the author of life. Big Budget Entertainment salutes you Bro cause we made each other.
Rest in Peace. Gone too soon.
A PASS Sad news for our music industry the fans and most especially the family, people that cared and loved you unconditionally and those of us that enjoyed your music #R.I.P. Danz Kumapesa gone but will never be forgotten. May your soul Rest In Peace.