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Ekky brings Afro House sound to Uganda

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breaking free. She not only sings but is also a lawyer, and after 11 years away, Ekky returned home four years ago to concentrate on her music career. Her recent track Trouble Maker with A Pass has found way on the air waves and a video released on Tuesday. Joash Yose spoke to her about her music journey, inspiration and aspirations.

One of the online portals nairaland.com, compares you to Kelly Rowland. Do you agree with that?
I am certainly flattered by the comparison because Kelly Rowland is an admirable, accomplished artiste. However, as complimentary as it may sound, I find it a tad reductive as I have always believed one should always be the best version of themselves and not a version of anyone else.

Your latest track Trouble Maker insinuates you have some insecurities about yourself or the music that you do.
I think everyone has insecurities about certain aspects of their lives. I am certainly no exception. I often worried about getting old and having sagging wrinkly bits, but one day I observed my dad and grandma talking and it suddenly hit me; they look at least a decade younger than their real age, so I quit worrying.
As far as my music is concerned, I can honestly say I found my peace and my place in it. Therefore, every obstacle I face is part of the process. I have to go through all challenges to get to where I am headed.

What do you do outside music? Does music pay your bills?
I chose to invest in my music first in order to build a solid foundation on which I can stand. I have not received much financial remuneration from it. To pay my bills, I run a construction company and interior design consultancy. I am also a real estate developer and a farmer, among other things.

In this era of nude photos and leaked sex tapes, what would you do if a controversial story with you involved, leaked?
I would not care much because the moment it finds its way into the public sphere, it stops being my business. I would let it go and move on.

You are a beautiful girl. Who is the lucky guy?
I consciously choose not to discuss my relationship status.

Okay, is he supportive of your career path?
All I can say is I cannot allow anyone to come between me and my dream.

When did you venture into music?
I released my first single Why Lie in March 2012. So I have only been in the industry for three years. I have so far released four singles and three collaborations, all of which have surpassed my wildest expectations. I have been blessed to have my songs and videos played on BBC 1xtra, MTV Base, Channel O.
My single Breaking Free was on the countdown in Ghana and even reached number one on Yfm in South Africa. It was remixed by three international DJs of repute from England, France and South Africa. It is exciting!
But I must say it is challenging in many ways but I would not trade it for anything. I look forward to the future. I just want to master my craft and be the best I can possibly be.

What would you say is your music genre?
Predominantly, I am a Deep House artiste. I am into the South African House and Kwaito sound big time. However, at the moment I am having the time of my life being experimental and playful, from afro-pop to afro-dance hall fusions, it is simply feel good music.

What would you say is your inspiration?
I am inspired by my favourite songs, which are an eclectic mix. Anything and everything from rock n roll, jazz, RnB to afro sounds, work for me.

What is the story behind your album, The African Love Story?
My journey is the leading storyline in my music. I write a lot about my experiences because I believe that to execute a song beautifully, one must truly understand the core of the story. I also write about other people’s experiences; my friends, family and stories I hear about people I have never met. Love and life are my Inspiration.
Do you think your style of music will be able to compete with the kind of style in this industry?
I have heard people say: “You have a nice voice but you seem quiet in the Industry…maybe if you sung in Luganda and did music similar to so and so, you would be popular and make money”.
I did not join music to make money. I joined because I could not run away from it. It is who I am. I love music and nothing fulfills me more than to sing from my heart. I am also a non-conformist, so I am always doing things differently from what society tries to impose.

Why did you choose A-Pass for your first collaboration?
I have actually collaborated with three amazing artistes before Trouble Maker with A Pass. I have worked with Lilian and Cindy on Get out the Door and The Mith on Go down Low, which features on his new album, Destination Africa (Get a copy!).
A Pass is my third collaboration. For Trouble Maker, I wanted an afro-dancehall song and he is master of the genre in Uganda. He is also very professional and lyrically astounding. Also, the video shoot with him was a great experience. Are there more collabos coming? I have a few surprises in the hat.

Most female artistes have been attached to bands. Are you in any band?
No I’m not in a band. But I have had the privilege of being a guest artiste for some bands. I have sang with Afrigo Band, which was a highlight for me, although nothing beats my last performance at last year’s Blankets and Wine in December. It was my first ever big gig. I had never been on stage for an hour and I was very nervous, but the moment I got on stage, I felt like that was where I belonged. Live music is completely different to singing over a recorded track. It was a whole lot different.

When should we expect your full album?
I am currently working on my first album, Th e African Love Story, and I hope to release it later this year. No dates yet. As far as more singles, yes, I will be releasing a new single in June 2015. The album will be fresh, with majority of the songs not in circulation prior to its release. I also want to add that I am incredibly grateful to the people who support me and make my journey much easier with their continued inspiring messages. I am who I am because of them. God Bless you all.

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