THE WORD: The Gospel music industry is growing and there is a new act. Javan Ssebagala aka Kajambiya is a dancehall gospel artiste threatening to give Levixone, Coopy Bly, Exodus and others a run for their money.
Where does the name Kajambiya come from?
I drew inspiration from Hebrews 4:12, which says: the word of God is quick, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. I translated the statement to Luganda. kajambiya is Luganda for sword.
When did you start doing music?
I discovered my talent in 2003 while still in Senior One and I recorded my first song in 2007. I would record music for self pleasure and for a few friends, but I took a break in 2011 during my second year at university to concentrate on my studies. After my degree, I started a career in Software Engineering and only resumed singing in August 2017.
What inspired you to join the music industry?
Since childhood, music was my mojo so everything played out naturally. Combined with the call from God, it was only fitting that I take it on.
You have a professional job, what are you doing in a competitive industry?
I am fulfilling a call from God to minister through music. Secondly, as a software engineer, I am motivated by challenges, so competition is a challenge I gladly accept any day.
You sound like Levixone in your songs.
I have been likened to Bebe Cool, Peter Miles, Busy Signal, Bounty Killer, among other artistes. I do not think that I really sound like Levixone but one thing we have in common is that we both do good music.
What was it like joining the music industry?
I must say it has been a tremendous journey. I am still overwhelmed by the reception.
Do you face any challenges as an upcoming artiste?
I took time to study the industry, so there have not been many challenges so far.
What has been your best and worst moment in the industry so far?
My best was the time I performed my first song Bullet to an audience of more than 5,000 people. The performance was lit, the crowd went crazy and demanded that I perform it one more time, which I did. My worst was when I took my first song to a certain radio station and the music director said the song was great but he thought it was not the kind for their audience. Good news is that listeners kept requesting for it until they started playing it.
Do you do secular music too?
Not really, but I listen to music with positive vibes, for example Lucky Dube, Morgan Heritage, and Beres Hammond. I also do some Bobi Wine edutainment jams.
What is your life like outside music and engineering?
I love quiet and solitude, so I spend lots of time alone; meditating, studying the Word, watching movies or playing FIFA (video game). Once in a while I check on my buddies, serve my spiritual father and I am currently also in school, so my plate is full.
Are you in a relationship?
I knew this question would come up. Yes, I doubt she even knows we are in a relationship (Laughs). Anyway, I do not know how best to describe my current relationship status but let’s say it is work in progress.
Any message to youth out there?
To Christian youth, let’s leave this “Amen” and “I receive it” mentality and actually put our hands to use. Serving God is awesome but we should also keep in mind that God has not called us into a beggarly life. I also leave them with the 4 Ls — live, love, learn and leave a legacy.
I was inspired by Sseku Martin because when I was starting out, I thought gospel music was only about artistes such as Judith Babirye and Pr Wilson Bugembe. It was long until I came across Sseku, who added a ragga feel to the genre that I thought it was actually possible.
Bullet, Kyatulidde and Ulululate featuring Coopy Bly.