GONE: It is that time of the year when we recognise and award the top performers of 2018 in the Ugandan entertainment industry. It was without a doubt a good year for the industry and now Isaac Ssejjombwe and Lawrence Ogwal look at some of the people that deserve gongs.
Artiste of the year – King Saha
King Saha is known for his Mowzey Radio-like sound and 2018 turned out to be the year that he proved this. This year was magical for the former Leone Island musician as every song he released topped charts; On My Way, Bir Biri, Mpa Love, Very Well, among others. Biri Biri was the one that stole the show most though, managing to scoop him an endorsement deal with Airtel. It was not a tough choice choosing Saha in this category, being pitted alongside Bobi Wine, Fik Fameica and Eddy Kenzo.
Break Through Artiste – JOHN BLAQ
The Ugandan music Industry is steadily growing and each year, it registers new comers. This year came with artistes John Blaq, Daddy Andre, Hit Nature, Cosign and Chozen Becky, among others.
Daddy Andre almost took this one but there is just something about John Blaq. Is it his unique voice? Well, he did catch our attention with his songs Romantic, Tukwatagane and that collabo with Vinka — Sweet Love. For not having just one song to ride on, John Blaq takes this one.
Song of the year – Kyarenga
One of the toughest categories for us, going by the number of hits this year. Some thought You and Me by Lydia Jazmine ft Daddy Andre, Biri Biri by King Saha, Didi dada by A Pass, Property by Fik Fameica and Turn The Replay by Levixone, but Kyarenga stole the show. Forget the fact that the song was boosted by his political moves, it also has a language diversity. If you are not convinced, play Kyarenga in your neighbourhood and see the reaction.
Collabo of the year – You & me by Lydia Jazmine and Daddy Andre
Play You and Me in the club and see how the audience reacts. Lydia Jazmine and Daddy Andre will forever be thankful for this track. Originally done by Daddy Andre and Ang3lina…you know that girl from Uganda — based in the UK, the song was average, until Lydia Jazmine gave it a touch. Daddy Andre is a producer and this was his first song as a musician and Jazmine’s biggest song so far. The collabo came at a time when Lydia Jazmine’s music career was not getting that much attention. We hope that she can ride on it to spread her wings further in 2019.
Male artiste of the year – Fik Fameica
Before his show flopped, everything was going well for Fik Fameica. And no, we shall not let the flop overshadow this boy’s shine. Having made it to our list last year for promising artiste this year, Fik Fameica went over and beyond in his pursuit for musical success. He has remained consistent and dropped songs that dominated airwaves and DJ spin boxes; My Property, Skonto, Tubikole, Born 2 Win, Mafia, and even managed to scoop a project with A Pass. Fik Fameica was overly booked this year to the extent that he even had to cancel performing at some events.
DJ of the year – DJ Slick Stuart and Roja
DJ Slick Stuart and Roja may have given us a crappy mixtape this year, but that does not change the fact that they are good at what they do. In an industry that is flooded by DJs, the duo have maintained their position as the top disc spinners. Other DJs who have kept their candles burning are Aludah, DJ Silverback and DJ Mark, among others. Slick Stuart and Roja also stand out for being unique and taking their brand seriously by breaking into doing music with artistes. Their success hit song Very Well, which featured King Saha was a plus for this nomination.
Best producer – NESSIM
Many might find this one debatable and I can hear some drop Eno Beats, Daddy Andre and probably Artin Pro but we were not looking for the most trending producers. Our vote goes to Nessim because he gave us some of the most popular songs this year; Chips Na Ketchup, Beera Nange, Turn The Replay, Chips Na Ketchup, Bankuza, Biri Biri, Very well, No You No Life, Mummy Yo, among others. It is easy to forget Nessim Pan Production when thinking this category, because he has probably been around for a bit and people always want to hear fresh names. We give a nod to Daddy Andre though for taking off the producer cap and hitting studio.
Female Artiste of the year – VINKA
For a couple of years, this award has been going to Sheebah and even still there was a bit of debate having to choose between the Swag mama and Vinka. True Sheebah worked hard and did have some top charts but we still think Vinka gave her a run for her money. Having broken out last year, Vinka was quite impressive with the hits after hits that she kept dropping, including Chips Na Ketchup, Omukwano Gwo, Tubikole, Mapozi, Sweet Love. Vinka was also booked for various performances and also got herself an endorsement deal with Aromat. Vinka was against Rema, Spice Diana, Lydia Jazmine and Sheebah.
Best video-Midnight Drum
Before A Pass gets to step on our heads on this one, we must say we have seen quite some good music videos this year; Wasibuka Wa, Mummy Yo, Skonto and many more. Midnight Drum by A Pass, Fik Fameica, Rouge and DJj Maphorisa stole our hearts though with it amazing choreography, cinematography and simplicity. Some of our cinematographers have tried their hand at the taxi park location, but none pulled it off like the South African director Sam Coleman in this video. He is the guy behind some of Mafikizolo’s music videos. The video also had the magic of Sony, so that could explain it further.
Comedian of the year – Fun Factory
We have witnessed different comedy groups emerge and disband within months but Fun Factory have managed to stay together for more than 10 years. It is, however, not their staying together that made us conclude that they are the best but the fact that they have managed to put up a show every week in those 11 years, 2018 inclusive. And most of their shows have attracted a full house. They beat Patrick Salvado Idringi, Mc Mariachi, Madrat and Chiko as well as Alex Muhangi. Fun Factory comedy outfit has standup comedians such as Hannington Bugingo, Richard Tuwangye, Veronica Tindi, Frobisher Lwanga, Veronica Namanda, Cathy Bagaya, and Zizinga among others.