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Beenie Gunter says music is part of him

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Making music: Looks like his collaboration with Sheebah in the No Offence remix has done Beenie Gunter good as he was recently signed to a record label in Sweden. The singer met his fan Careen Mamweta and the two talked music and life.

Hi Beenie. You look young. How old are you?
I am 22 years.

What inspired you to start singing?
My late brother Beenie Venture. He made me fall in love with Jamaican music.

Who is your best Jamaican musician?
I like Beenie man, Demarco, Popcaan, Cronics, ProtoJay and Sizzla.

How did you and Sheebah link up for the No Offence remix?
When I released the original of No Offence, I never imagined the remix would become a big hit. When Sheebah talked me into making a remix with her, I couldn’t resist because she is one of the most selling artistes lately and when the song was released, it did magic for both of us.

Where did the Beenie Gunter name come from?
Beenie in Jamaica means young while Gunter means creative. So it is basically ‘young creative’.

How many songs do you have so far?
I have a lot of songs, including No Offence, John Paul, Nishike, Omuliro, Shuga, What I Am, Sukuma, Mwagala Kufa, Light It Up, Nsubiza, Lose Control, Ffe Bwetuba and Wine It, among others.

What is Beenie Gunter up to lately?
I have just signed a contract with an international label called Perfect Play. Because of their affiliation to big brands like Sony music and Warner music, my artistic talent is going to reach out to a vast audience across the world and that is because I am the only artiste they have signed so far from Africa.

We heard that Sasha Vybz is your brother and that he shoots your videos for free. How true is this?
Sasha is not my biological brother. He is a friend, mentor and business partner and the time and understanding we have makes us brothers. I had a contract with him to shoot my videos.

Aside from music, who is Beenie Gunter?
Away from music, I am a God-fearing person who never misses church every Sunday. I love hanging out with positive people who have a reason to live, I hate dishonesty, I love people who criticise me for my betterment, I love watching movies with friends because I see myself in production in the future.

Give me three reasons you are doing music?
I didn’t just join music. Music is part of me. It is the passion I have that pushed me to do it. It is also a talent from God that I am able to earn an income from. Lastly, with music, I can easily express my feelings and the feelings of those out there who cannot speak for themselves.

Any challenges you face as an artiste?
Of course I do. There are so many hypocrites in music and lately, things have been tough financially but now that I am signed under a respectable label, everything is going to be okay.
What is your view on the Ugandan music industry?
It has been progressing because artistes realised the difference between making money and having hits. We now have artistes raising the Uganda flag high, we have songs playing everywhere and most importantly, artistes now know how to brand themselves, act professionally and they have a vision.

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