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Date With a Celeb: Empress meets fan Jackie Kanyunyuzi

Empress (L) meets her fan Jackie Kanyunyuzi. Photo by Isaac Ssejjombwe.

Empress is a female dancehall artiste signed to Maro’s Vocal Police. She meets her fan and long term admirer Jackie Kanyunyuzi, a business woman in Kampala.

Hi Empress. What is your real name?
My name is Joy Tumusiime.

Why then do you go by the name Empress?
For starters, Empress in reality is a wife to the Emperor but my reason for using this name is because in Uganda we have dancehall queens, dancehall princesses, divas, messiahs, and so on. I chose Empress for the fact that dancehall is my empire, and it’s a catchy name, don’t you think?

When did you join the music industry professionally and why dancehall?
I started serious music in 2010 under UG Records but went solo in 2011 after my contract had expired. I do dancehall because it’s a fun type of music and by the time I joined music, it was one of the most selling genres.

What is your status?
I’m single and straight but seriously searching for a Dinka loaded guy.

Who is your best Ugandan dancehall artiste?
That would be Nutty Naithan because he is multi-talented. He is a song writer, an artiste, producer, actor, dancer and has something new to offer to the music industry.

Which female artiste would you love to work with?
I have three. Cindy, Lillian Mbabazi and Iryn Namubiru.

When are you planning to have your first album launch?
Towards the end of next year God willing but I’m planning to have a listeners’ party in early January.

How many songs do you have so far?
My first album had 10 songs with eight videos and this album is also going to have the same number of songs. I have already released four songs.

Are you doing anything else besides music?
Apparently, nothing else but I’ll soon be hitting the airwaves as a presenter because I’m graduate of journalism and Mass Communication.

Do you think Vocal Police is the best option for your career?
Yes of course. I have been friends with Vocal Police guys for a long time. In fact when Maro started it, I was the first person he called to join. We are a family who are there for each other.

How difficult is the music industry?
First and foremost, the industry is so competitive in that the audience has a variety to listen too, so you have to offer quality stuff all the time. Also, Ugandan TV and radio stations always want money to play our songs yet in actual sense they are supposed to be the ones paying us but they’d rather play Jamaican and Nigerian music than embracing Ugandan music.

What would you change about yourself?
My belly but the problem is I have a very big appetite and I’m too reluctant to go to the gym.

What is your personality?
I’m a simple, down to earth, talkative artiste who would do anything for music.

You haven’t talked about your family background?
You hadn’t asked. Any way. I was born to the late Mr David Seruyange and Ms Grace Munaba. I am the second born of four kids. It was me and my late brother Elly Cham (RIP) who were doing music in the family.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Five years from now, I’ll be an established artiste, well-travelled, very successful and a parent.

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