Style man: Arguably one of the most vocally gifted artistes in Uganda, Naava Grey is underated but she says that is the least of her problems so long as she does what she loves and it pays at the end of the day. Her fan Irene asked her more about her musical career.
How best would you describe yourself?
I’m Naava Grey, an artiste, songwriter who is so passionate about music.
Would you care to tell me about your family?
I was born in a family that appreciates good music, so my talent sprung up more from my genetic background. I was raised in a family that had soft spot for good sound and wouldn’t tolerate any imperfection.
The last I heard was that you were signed to Steve Jean’s Fenon Records. Are you still there?
No I’m not. At the moment, I’m signed to Sony/Rockstar 4000, in South Africa.
You have quite a voice. Have you ever participated in any talent shows?
Yes, I did participate in the Tusker Project Fame East Africa competition, which helped me a lot. It was through that competition that I got direction and attention towards my aim in becoming an artiste.
My best track from you is Soka Lami. Tell me the story behind it?
Soka Lami is a Zulu phrase that means My Lover. I met a good producer who gave me the track and as I was listening to it, I thought I should attach a different language to it because I felt it needed eccentricity. For the fact that I’m signed to a South African label, Zulu was the perfect addition to the song and I felt it would be more accomodative to introduce my style and taste to the entire African market.
Where did you get the Grey name from?
That is a name I gave thought to. When you mix black and white, grey is what you get and because my music is a fusion of both Black and White sound, I made sure Grey was a part of me.
I have noticed that you are not over-rated like other female artistes yet you are more talented than most of them. Doesn’t it disturb you?
Being underated ain’t so important. What is more important is to be known for what I do best and not to give up, but keep focusing. At the end of the day, my beliefs, coupled with my perseverance will pay off, so I believe in reaching my goals by keeping in line and doing my best without giving up.
Do you love your songs equally or you have a best one?
Nja Kwagala is my best because I was deeply engrossed into it while writing it.
Which are your other songs?
Aliba Waani, Nteredde, Ninga Omuloge, Ndiwano, Kyusa, Nkwetaga and Sensual Love.
How do you spend your free time?
Eating, cooking, spending time with family and friends and travelling.
Who are your best musicians in Uganda?
Maddox Sematimba and Iryn Namubiru.
What don’t people know about you?
I’m God fearing and I love peace.
What inspires you?
Different melodies from various musicians from all areas of life, from genres to cultures.
How do you rate the music industry in Uganda currently?
It’s growing at a fast rate, for the fact that artistes are aiming high for quality from audio to video production. They are also yearning for recognition worldwide. We are basically offering the whole package to compete with the outside world.
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