LOOKING FOR HITS: Every artiste’s dream is to have a hit song. But like in any other trade, there are no assurances in music and that is why some musicians will decide to remix their songs to give it an extra touch. However, that too is not a guarantee as we have seen some remixes kill original compositions while some remixes have saved a song. Isaac Ssejjombwe looks at some such songs in Uganda.
No Offence – Beenie Gunter ft Sheebah
Beenie Gunter is a dancehall musician whose style can work best, only if he gets the right people to work with. He is the guy behind the track Tubaayo. But before Tubaayo (a Ugandan version of Bruk off btw), Beenie Gunter had a song titled No Offence. But like most artistes whose first songs struggle through, Beenie looked for plan B and he was lucky to land on Sheebah and they re-did No Offence, and the song immediately became a hit, with the video also receiving enormous views. The remix made people forget that there was even an original composition.
Gyal Formula – Young Mulo ft Navio and Mun G
Young Mulo is one of the musicians who did not enjoy prominence as much as he should have. His moment on the music scene did not last more than two years. No sooner had he established himself than he disappeared. But before he faded away, he had done some exciting songs such as Tebatusobola, Better Dan Dem, among others. In fact, in his prime, Mulo gave Chameleone a run for his money. Young Mulo also made a good number of collaborations but none of them beats the Gyal Formula remix in which he featured Mun G and Navio. Navio and Mun G did magic to the song. In fact, they beat Mulo hands down on the remix as they gave it a fresh new sound from the original.
Gamululu – A Pass ft Konshens
Some time this year, A Pass said in an interview that most artistes fear doing collabos with him and only a few can match him. He mentioned Konshens, with whom they did the Gamululu remix. No doubt Gamululu is one song that keeps sounding fresh every time you listen to it and that aside, A Pass was at his best on the track. It is one song that reached places without an official video. The song made us forget that A Pass had an original song, which did not get as much airplay as the artiste had anticipated. We bet many of you did not know there was an original even.
How we do – Keko ft Goodlyfe
Former Uganda’s Keko (well, she is Canadian now) defied the odds by becoming the best rapper in the country at a time the industry was dominated by men. What male rappers could do, Joseline Keko could do even better and no doubt she got a chance to work with Radio and Weasel at their peak. They worked on the remix of Keko’s How We Do, a song that took them places; they got to perform at the Big Brother Africa House, the song was nominated in the Channel O awards and It was also played on most African channels.
Farma – Ykee Benda ft Sheebah
Ykee Benda is an engineer who handed his degree to his father and embarked on a mission to follow his passion. This guy knew nothing would come easy, so he laid a strategy and part of that was getting close to Team No Sleep. There, he managed to scoop a collaboration with Sheebah, but instead of doing a fresh song, they remixed his Farma song and voila, we had a 2016 anthem. Because she was on top of her game, Benda rode on Sheebah’s fame and he did not mind people saying it was Sheebah’s song. Every place Sheebah performed, Ykee Benda was there and he got to market his Munakampala too. Today, Ykee Benda is one of the best male artistes in Uganda thanks to the remix of Farma.
Kwekunyakunya – Vampino ft Juliana, Cindy & Keko
Vampino was at his best between 2008 and 2010. It is during those years that he released songs Love To Dance, Byemele and Kwekunyakunya. The latter was not that bad and because of its success, Vampino thought it wise to bring Juliana, Keko and Cindy on board and boy did this work magic! It overshadowed the original track and it became a club banger. Its video too was powerful.
Mukwano Gwo – Zulanda ft Winnie Nwagi
Zulanda is a Swangz Avenue artiste who started out as a songwriter but expanded his horizon to singing. And among his first songs was Mukwano Gwo, which like most of the first songs, did not do well. He got Winnie Nwagi, an artiste he had written for and with whom they shared a music label and they had a remix. The remix was a match made in heaven as it quickly became a hit. Many people out there might not have heard of the Mukwano Gwo original song but they definitely heard about the remix.
Wadawa – Chozen ft Sheebah
The music industry got a lease of life with Pressure Ya Love, a collaboration between Chozen Blood and Walden but it was the only hit they had before separating. Chozen Blood went abroad to further his studies but before he had travelled, he had done a song titled Wadawa which became a mystery like most of the songs he had done. After spending more than two years studying, talent forced him back home. Because he had signed up with Team No Sleep, it was only evident that Sheebah who had been on top of music charts was the right choice to feature on the remix of Wadawa. The song topped charts and this marked the comeback of Chozen.
Mbilo Mbilo – Eddy Kenzo ft Niniola
Eddy Kenzo’s Mbilo Mbilo would have never gone far if it was not for Nigeria’s Niniola. No wonder it won an AFRIMA award for ‘Best Collaboration last year. What made the song so popular was perhaps the fact that he brought on board a Nigerian musician, thus blending a touch of both countries on one track regardless of the fact that Niniola is little-known. However, the original was not bad as it also received a good airplay especially on the Ugandan market.
Murdered by the remix
Bad man- Bobi Wine ft Patra
Rumour had it that Bobi Wine paid Patra’s hotel fee the last time she came to perform in Uganda during the Club mega fest. This was after the Jamaican musician failed to perform due to reasons beyond her control. However one of the conditions Bobi apparently set was that Patra features on one of his projects before she flew back to Jamaica. Indeed the two artistes hit studio and shot a video of Bobi Wine’s Bad Man. The song, however, did not do much to our disappointement. Most people preferred Bobi’s original Bad Man.
Bogolako- Bebe Cool and Chameleone
You have to be an ardent fan of either artiste to know that Bebe Cool and Chameleone redid Bogolako. Because it did not meet its expectations, neither of them talked about it. Contrary to that, the original song by Bebe Cool alone was the real deal. It came at a time when their beef with Bobi Wine was at its peek and the song was a retaliation to Bobi’s Mr Katala. We however got information that Bebe Cool had agreed to re-do his Bogolako song with Chameleone because they had agreed to re-do Kipepewo, which never materialised. Was it because the first song did not do as expected?
Yes-No- Fefe Buusi ft
We have seen musicians break out after plagiarising songs and Fefe Busi is one of them. His song Yes-No was a copy and paste of E-40’s Choices. The song worked for Fefe Busi because few people knew that he had plagiarised it as they praised him for his creativity. The song never left the countdown and he went on to do a remix of the same song. Unlike artistes who bring on board other artistes in the remix, Fefe Bussi did it alone but after releasing the remix, we bet he regretted the decision because it never got anywhere. It was a bad move.
Nkwatako- Sheebah ft Solidstar
During the Zzina Awards where she scooped two awards, Sheebah asked the audience if she could fly in Solid star for a video shoot of her Nkwatako remix. They gave her a green light and a week later the video was released. The song did not get the airplay Team No Sleep had expected and they thought the video would save the day. The label tried to push the song but it just failed to catch to the level of the original. The remix was a waste of money.