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Irene Ntale on Date Night


Coming closer: What would have been Irene Ntale’s maiden concert last year was postponed because of ‘unforeseen circumstances.’ This time round, her management agency, Swangz Avenue, says they are more than ready for ‘Date Night’ at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel. ISAAC SSEJJOMBWE caught up with the songstress to find out how prepared she is for the concert.

For how long have you been doing music?
This is the fourth year.

What do you think you have achieved in those four years?
The only thing I’m so grateful for is my fan base. They have been growing tremendously. That achievement of my fan base is even greater than everything.

Why are you having a concert now after four years?
Actually, I wanted to hold a concert last year. It didn’t work out because it so happened that the day I had chosen, two Jamaican artistes, Busy Signal and Konshens were scheduled to hold a show. And being the first concert I was skeptical. I’m glad I am having it now because I have more music, I’m glad that the title album which is also happens to be the title track of the concert (Sembera) is doing great and people love it. I think I’m now ready for a concert.

But we have seen artistes hold concert on the same day….
They were willing to take the risks. I wasn’t ready to do so. And also because we (the Jamaicans and I) both needed the financial muscle of the same sponsor, one had to pull out.

But then, the same predicament you had last year is still the same this time round with Salvado having ‘Africa Laughs’ on the same day…
I would say it’s not the same situation because there is a comedy show while mine is a musical one. Last year, it was music verses music which is hard. Let me explain. People don’t see Konshens and Busy Signal everyday yet I perform in different places many times. I can’t keep pulling out every time so this time I’m ready and I’m doing it and I truly believe both shows are going to be successful.

News has been making the rounds that you and Winnie Nwagi have ‘beef’ and that this stems from the fact that she’s doing way better than you these days. Clarify on that?
There is no beef going on. Why would people think that? This is what people should know. Swangz is a record label. There are five artistes here. Me, Winnie Nwagi, Zulanda, Black Skin and Joel. We are one family. I was with Winnie when she didn’t have a hit song and I used to go everywhere with her for performances. As Swangz, we were waiting for her time to come and when she got Musawo, all of us were so happy. The industry is like a piece of cake, whereby everyone comes and gets a piece. I work and she works and I’ve been there before and she looks up to me.

It is said that your deal with Oriflame was terminated because you bleach. Is this the case?
My deal was for one year and it elapsed. It was never terminated. People just talk about things they don’t know. I served them in that one year just like Juliana did. The contract ended peacefully. I have never bleached and I’m tired of explaining myself to people just like I am explaining that I don’t wear bums.

Sembera, sounds so different from the Irene we know. Why are you changing your style of music?
It’s just a different style. It was written by Radio and when he brought it to me, I loved it from the start because it was different from what I do. Most songs are on top for like six months but this is the kind of song that will last forever. Its calm, has a message and appeals to many people.

How can you convince someone out there to come for your show and not go anywhere else?
I’m ready, so ready; I’ve rehearsed for three months. I’ve played my part and I leave the rest to God.

What surprises do you have on that day?
The only thing I can tell you is that people think I only play the guitar but I’m going to surprise everyone with other instruments. I’m playing on a live band, going to be on stage for three hours. Everything is well scripted.

Since this is your first concert, are you going to be holding concert every year?
I’m not sure about that ‘every year’ thing but it’s not what I want. I will probably take the same time to have another.

Don’t you think you asking a lot of money at this concert?
No I do not. People will get value for their money.

What do you attribute your success too?
I have an awesome team. Some people have to worry about everything. Audio production, video, promotion and so on. I just worry about what song is going too released next, your drive and then God above all things. Sometime you just have to have faith.

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