Kampala is seen as the hub for music and this forces some upcountry musicians to abandon their homes to pursue a music career in the central region. Some have excelled while many have failed because of a lot of distractions. To Titus Vybes, one of Mbale’s biggest musicians, crossing to Kampala is not even in his mind because according to him, good music crosses boarders. Isaac Ssejjombwe caught up with the artiste to discuss more about his life.
Why music for starters?
I earn a living out of music. Music has also made me meet different people across the world. I do music because it’s not only my passion but my source of income too.
Where did the Titus Vybes name come from?
My birth name is Kidasa Titus. Vybes is a feeling you get from being in a particular place or situation. Initially, it was just Titus but whenever I would go off stage, fans would tell me things like, “Man, you have good vybes, I really love your vybe. So that is why I came up with the stage name “Titus Vybes”.
When did you realize that music was the career for you?
I have been doing music since childhood. Initially, it was just for pleasure. My passion was to entertain people regardless of whether I was paid or not but in 2016, I sang at the Circumcision inauguration ceremony at Mutoto Cultural ground in Mbale and people loved me so much. They gave me a lot of money. I remember Hon. Nandala Mafabi even called me to his office to appreciate me. That is when I realized music was a career for me.
What style of music do you do and why that particular style?
Am a versatile artist. When I started doing music, it was strictly dancehall and reggae because it would give me the vybe that I wanted but with time, I started doing other kinds of music like zouk, rnb. Right now, the music I do depends on a situation I am in, the studio vybe etc.
There are over 8000 musicians in Uganda. How different are you from them?
I think everyone is different and unique in their own way. I would say singing in Lumasaba makes me different from others but yet again, I’m not the only artist singing in Lumasaaba. But, am the only Titus Vybes!
Tell me some of your songs and what inspired them?
I have lots of songs from various inspirations but let me talk about “Mama Africa” in particular. My mother inspired me to do this song. She has been there for me since childhood. In fact, she is my biggest fan! I did this song to appreciate her for her efforts. I also wanted it to be a dedication to mothers all over the world. I also have other songs like Mugamba, Ukachaawa, Dat close, Lady Gaga, Language and Nga Wasule.
Some upcountry musicians think they can break barriers by relocating to Kampala. What is you take on this?
aWho says I have made it my area? I have big plans that I haven’t fulfilled yet. I still have a lot in stock! But then again, I think good music crosses the borders by itself. There is no need to relocate.
What challenges have you gotten in music so far?
I have faced quite a number of challenges but I expected them. The biggest challenge now is that music is too expensive in terms of production and promotion and then there is a lot of unhealthy competition.
Tell me about your family and education background?
I was born in a polygamous family so I have lots of siblings but from my mother, I’m the older one with a little sister called Norah. I went to “Mbale Town View” and “Sironko Primary school” for my primary then “Jordana High School” for O level. I then went to Manafwa high school – Mbale for my A-level where I emerged as one of the best students in my year before joining Islamic University in Uganda (Main campus Mbale) to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Business Studies majoring in Accounting.
What would you be doing if it wasn’t music?
I could be an Entrepreneur or rather an Accountant in one of the financial Institutions in Uganda since I did Accounting at university but music is my passion. I chose to do what I love.
Who do you look up to in music?
I look up to my brother “Dutty Skipper” and international acts like Beenie man and Sean Paul.
What are you dreams in this career?
My dream is to lift up my culture and raise the Ugandan flag internationally.