Veteran. Viboyo is what you would call a late bloomer as his music has only started causing ripples yet he has been on and off the music scene since 1998. Isaac Ssejjombwe talked to the singer who is riding high on his Zzina hit.
Who is Viboyo?
Viboyo is a Ugandan artiste. My real name is Moses Nsubuga. I am a Muslim and I am 29 years old. I celebrate my birthday on February 14, which happens to be Valentine’s Day. I was born to the late Madina Namusisi, but there is nothing to say about my father. I was raised by my aunt (Hajjati Hanifa Nansasi).
Which schools did you go to?
I went to a number of schools like North Road in Mbale, Uganda Airforce and Good Home in Entebbe, Mengo S.S.S, Nakasero and Seven Hills secondary schools.
Why did you have to go to all those schools?
I used to move from school to school because I wasn’t the one making the decisions by then. I was only a kid who was following what the elders said.
Did you grow up in a musical family like most artistes have?
I would say partly, because my step brother George Gidudu (R.I.P) was a DJ and he used to have all kinds of music, so I attribute part of my musical career to him because he helped shape me to become the artiste I am.
For how long have you been in the music industry and why has it taken you this long to breakthrough as an established artiste?
I started out in 1998 but doing underground music until 2002 when I started doing music professionally. I took a musical break in 2004 and concentrated more on promoting other artistes like Bella until 2008 when I decided to return with a new single Music Africa that featured Leilah. It took me long to breakthrough because I wasn’t taking things seriously. I was just playing around but now music is my main priority.
You talk of promoting artistes. Which other artist have you promoted besides Bella?
I started Sound Room, a music promotion and distribution company, which is like a hub of Ugandan music and artistes who didn’t know how to go about music were helped by me at Sound Room. We promoted several artistes like Chameleone, Bebe Cool, Moze Radio, Juliana, Ragga Dee to mention but a few. We also helped in supplying local music especially to websites like musicuganda.com.
How many albums are under Viboyo and what are some of the songs on those albums if any?
I have two albums; the first one Boyo’s Dream was recorded in 2004 and had tracks like No Nedda, Fricky, Webuzze, Mwagala, Muwulizze, which by the way is one of my best songs and Owino. I am working on the second album which I’m going to name Kiwundo Affiliationz. It has 22 tracks. Some of the songs on this album include Nyumbani that I did with Radio and Weasel, Music Africa with Leilah, Keep striving, Time featuring Laura Kahunde, Amulimba, Mbikwata Mpola, Love Me and the latest Zzina with Benon and Vampino.
Who do you consider your inspiration in the entertainment industry and why?
I get inspiration from all over, but my major inspirations are people like the late Tupac, Herman Bassude and Philly Lutaaya. Eminem is also among those artistes that inspire me. I look up to them because they are deep lyrically. I feel they tackle every aspect in their songs.
Why don’t you make a rendition of any song from those fallen Ugandan artistes you consider your inspiration?
I’m working on it, but a few things have to be first put into consideration before the song is done. I first have to take care that I conform with the Copyright Law before I release the song.
Do you mind telling us that artiste and the song?
Just watch the space.
What is your musical style and why that specific style?
Music is never one style unless you don’t know what you are doing. I’m versatile and like I said, I do music from all over. Keep Striving is a reggae song while Party is an extreme hip hop song. I sing and rap at the same time.
How different are you from other artistes?
Viboyo is one artiste who writes his music in different styles, as well as promotes and writes for other artistes.
How would you like to be remembered in the entertainment industry?
I would like to be remembered as a person who wasn’t only singing but a person who helped others succeed. I would like to be remembered as an artiste who has done a lot in developing the Ugandan music industry.
What is your association with Swangz Avenue?
I work at Swangz Avenue as a video producer and as gaffer. As a video producer, I’m in charge of looking for video locations, props and the cast while as a gaffer, I work on lights and ensure that they are properly installed and in good working conditions on locations.
Your latest single Zzina alongside Benon and Vampino is having heavy rotation on most TV and radio stations across the region and it is a club banger. What the story behind the song?
Well, the story behind the song is that Benon came up with the beat and told me to do something unusual from what I had always been delivering but as we were still in studio, Ragga Dee released a song with a similar chorus, so we decided to push it further and in 2012 we decided to release the song since it had taken long in studio. Credit goes to me, Benon and Viboyo about the song but comedian Richard Tuwangye was the brain behind the concept.
Most people feel there is nothing to write home about you when it comes to solo projects and a successful one when doing collabo’s going by tracks like Nyumbani, Mr DJ, Whistle Song, Music Africa and you’re your latest, Zina, what’s your take on this?
I don’t see it that way. Maybe it’s because I work best on collabos and work better on solo projects. I believe people haven’t yet appreciated Viboyo’s style of music. I have not been lucky like other artistes but those who love my music know what I’m capable of.
What studios are credited for your songs?
I have recorded three songs at Job Records, six songs from Buzz Studios in Muyenga, a song from Goodenuff and others from Swangz Avenue which I believe is the best studio in East Africa.
Why are you in music?
It’s a calling, I love music and I believe I was born to do music.
How successful are you in the music industry?
I’m not as successful as I want to be. I still have a long way to go. I’m still rising, heading to the spot, I’m still on the road to success.
Young Zee said in last week’s Sqoop that you teach him music, performance and about chicks. Don’t you think it’s bad advice to teach a 13-year-old to get involved with women at that age?
It’s true I teach him music and about chicks but in a different perspective. I tell him over and over again not to get involved with girls at his age because of the troubles they come with. I always tell him not to do what he sees on TV. He should not misbehave because his time is coming.
What do you have to say to upcoming artistes who want to be like you?
First thing is they should stay off drugs and alcohol. Then first finish school before embarking on music because everything has it’s time. They should also respect their parents. If you think you there is money in music, think twice. You should have a plan B.
What are your last words to your fans?
I would like to thank all those who have supported me through the years and to those who are about to support me, welcome to the Viboyo world. I have a great masterpiece coming out (Kiwundo Affiliationz) and I also have a new joint with Michael Ross called Yolo (You Only Live Once), which is about to hit the airwaves. Zzina the remix, which features Baboon Forest is also out.