Flying high: If you have attended any of the Janzi Band nights or seen the band perform, you must know pages. The lead singer of the band does all kind of genres and has won many hearts. Could this be the reason he bears solo career dream?
When you go to Zone 7 every Wednesday, you will find a certain band entertaining the crowd but among the people in that band is Pages who has fast become a people’s favourite because of the way he mimes other artiste’s songs to perfection. He has done more than 200 songs and he is not about to stop.
Who is Pages?
Pages is a musician from a very humble background. I am a religious person. I come from an Anglican family, although I am born again.
Where did the name ‘Pages’ come from?
Before Pages, was Bible Pages because I was a gospel artiste but then I realised that the name reflected more to my life. I used to see my life changing everyday just like how you would flip pages of a book. My birth name is James Lubwama.
What kind of music do you do?
I do a lot of music; RnB, dancehall and reggae. When you listen to my album, it is full of different genres.
For someone who grew up in a religious family, why did you shift to doing secular music?
I looked at it for commercial purposes.
So are you trying to say there is no money in gospel music?
I am still doing gospel music but only to serve God and I do the secular bit for money. I have bills to pay and a life to live.
When did you start singing?
I think I was in my Form Five. I grew up rapping but realised I could sing after joining an acapela group called Gentle Choir, an Adventist choir, where I was the lead singer. I them joined another choir called Helm. After school I joined a band called Love Stream. I joined campus, then auditioned for the Coca Cola Rated Next Season 2 competition but got kicked out in the sixth round. I joined different bands; Akalo Band and Janzi Band, where I am right now.
Tell us about your Rated Next experience.
The competition taught me a lot because there were a lot of talented people in the competition, so we learned from each other.
We know you from Janzi Band as a person who does mostly cover songs. Where do you find time to cram all those songs?
I actually devote most of my time to music. You will always find me with headphones plugged on. Before I perform a song, I first fall in love with it, put it on repeat and learn the words.
Which is your best song among those you have done?
All Maddox’s songs. He is the only musician who does what he does in Uganda.
What do you mean?
Every musician is special in their way but Maddox is an icon. His music is inspirational and not many can do the kind of reggae that he does. That is why I put him in a different class.
How many songs do you think are in your head?
I think beyond 200 songs. Sometimes I sit there and wonder if my head is going to burst anytime because of the different lyrics. When I cram, I really cram.
Which has been the most difficult song you have done?
This Kind Love by WizKid and Patoranking. I just do not like it.
We heard that you are now pursuing a solo career. How many songs do you have?
So far I have just one album with 10 songs.
Tell us more about this album?
The album is called Love Portion, which I released three months ago and it has songs such as Mwoli, So Real, Wampangula and Marry You, among others.
Why shift from band to a solo career?
You can do a lot with a solo career. You do not have any limitations. If it was my band, I would be okay with it because it would be me and the band but right now, I am just an employee with a boss.
What would happen if your career fails?
I never focus on negativity. If it works, it works. Giving up is for those who do not have focus.
Most people know you as a band person. How are you going to change their mind to start following you as a solo artiste?
I have a listener’s party coming up sometime this month to show people that I can do it. My music is different and they will love it.
Besides music, what else do you do?
I have a farm and it is something I am focusing on.
For how long have you been with Janzi Band?
Two years and I am learning a lot from the band as well as earning well from it.
Have you always been the lead singer?
No. I replaced the lead singer, who left the band.
How would you compare yourself to him?
There is no way I can relate to him because I never saw him. Actually I had never seen Janzi Band perform before I joined.
How did you join this band?
They approached me. Emma Dragu recommended me, they looked for me, I did trials and they took me up.
Which artiste do you look up to?
I look up to a lot of guys. But to mention a few, Maddox and Bobi Wine. Bobi is so successful in everything he takes on. Be it music or investments. The latest being politics.
What has been your happiest moment in the industry so far?
It was recently when the band surprised me on my birthday. There is nothing that surprises me, but those guys did. It was the first surprise birthday party in my life. They caught me off guard.
Where do you see your career in the coming years?
I cannot say but I am going to work hard to see it better than what it is now.
Family and school background
I grew up in a big family. My father died when I was three years old and my mother died when I was 12 years old, so I grew up with two biological sisters and a brother. I am the last born.
I went to Seeta Parents upto P4, Kawempe Moslem Primary School for P5, and Winterland for my P7. I then joined Ndejje High School in Luweero, then Kitante for Senior Four and Helm for Senior Six.
I then joined to Ndejje University where I attained a Bachelors degree in Development Studies last year.
I grew up rapping but realised I could sing after joining an acapela group called Gentle Choir, where I was the lead singer…. while at campus, then auditioned for the Coca Cola Rated Next.