IN LOVE WITH DANCEHALL: Beenie Gunter has never stepped a foot in Jamaica but when you hear him speak Patios, you might think he has spent his entire life there. The 21-year-old dancehall artiste meets his fan Fred Walulya.
What is your real name?
Where is your village?
Fort Portal, but I was born in Nsambya.
What are the names of your parents?
My father is called Major John Waako and my mother is Ms Margaret Nambi.
What schools did you go to?
I went to Mbarara Army Primary and Bombo Mixed School, then completed both my 0’ and A’ levels at St Mary’s SS Kitende.
What inspired you to start singing?
I was inspired by my late brother Beenie Venture. He made me fall in love with Jamaican music.
Who is your best Jamaican musician?
I have many such as Papcan, Beenie man, Demarco, Cronics, ProtoJay and Sizzla.
Do you have a girlfriend?
Yes I do. But I preter to keep our affair private.
Are you signed to any label?
I work with Savvy Music, which I joined last year. They handle my video shoots and promotions but I have my own camp called Jahloved Guntalkcity. It’s the group I have been with for a very long time.
How did you get the Beenie Gunter name?
Beenie in Jamaica means young while Gunter means creative. So it’s basically young creative.
Where did you learn Patois from?
I study it online and I have friends over there who teach me a thing or two about their language. Some are artistes, others are producers.
What have you achieved so far in music?
My biggest achievement so far has been Jamaican artistes and record labels contacting me and appreciating my music. An artiste called Adeeno and a big record label called Cash Flow Records contacted me. Also, my first track becoming a hit motivated me so much. I’m talking about No Offence. The original version was even nominated in the world star reggae videos as one of the best.
How many songs do you have so far?
I have eight that are already done with four music videos.
How did you link up with Sheebah for the No Offence remix?
When I released the first version of No Offence, I never had any idea of having a remix but Sheebah approached me and talked me into having a remix. I couldn’t refuse because she was on top of her game during that time.
Have you started earning from music yet?
Yes, I have through shows and currently, I’m the ambassador of an NGO called Agaba (A Generation for A Better Africa).
Do you think the music industry is progressing in Uganda or not?
It has been progressing over the past two years because artistes have realised the difference between making money and having hits all over the world. We have had new guys raise the Uganda flag outside our borders in these two years. We now know branding, professionalism and vision.
What challenges are you facing currently?
There are many hypocrites and everything requires money.
What collaborations are you working on?
I have one with Atlas and another with Pallaso called Nishike. The rest are surprises, especially those with Jamaican artistes.
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