Masaka’s finest: When Charlton Yaawe got into music, he was driven by nothing else but passion and a dream. Money was not on his mind. Five years down the road, he is a big name in Masaka. Shamim J. Nakawooya writes.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am Charlton Yaawe, 28 years old and I am a musician.
When did you start singing?
I have been a musician since childhood but I started doing serious music in April 2011.
What was your first song?
Omukwano Gwo, Kilotto, Alijikunguula, Nsaba Mutima Gwo featuring Tonny Rich, Kiwuundu, Nze Njabya, Ebiwuundu Kumitiima and then Oli Mukka Genda, also a collabo with Tonny Rich.
How many songs do you have so far?
I have composed 32 songs, but I have released eight so far, with five videos and three collabos.
Do you compose your songs?
Yes, but with collabos, we brainstorm ideas.
Who produces your songs?
I use different producers such as Zaone K, Silver Kyagulanyi and Paddyman audio1.
What would you say was your breakthrough song?
Alijikunguula. I was able to stage a concert in September 2012, and the turn up was massive and promising for an upcoming musician.
What type of music do you sing?
I am versatile; I can sing different styles such as Ragga, Rnb but Afro beat is my favourite style.
Who produces your videos?
My song Ani Alijikungula won song of the year in the Hi- Star Music Awards in Masaka in 2014, and I was also selected best upcoming artiste in the region.
What inspired you to start singing?
I think I was born a musician. I had a dream, passion and love for music regardless of other factors such as money.
Who are your favourite Ugandan artistes?
Rema Namakula and Ronald Mayinja.
How different are you from other musicians?
My songs have a good message when you listen to them, I am down to earth and I am not proud, unlike other musicians.
How do you see the music industry?
The industry is developing and promising, but competition is so stiff and the content in the music also matters a lot.
What is cooking?
I am working on Tosamwasamwa, which will be released soon.
Have you benefited from music?
Yes. At least now I can be recognised by some musicians and the Masaka audience.
Apart from music, what else do you do?
I am a businessman. I have a shop dealing in men’s wear. It is called Kwagala Traders located at Hobert Street in Masaka Town.
Tell us about your first day on stage?
As you know, things were not easy. I felt so nervous, shivered on the microphone but good enough the audience did not turn against me.
Any challenges you have met so far?
Music requires a lot of financial support, especially when recording audio and producing videos.
Are you in a relationship?
I am married to Olivia Nanziri and we have one child, Ryton Nankabirwa.
What would you say has been your happiest day in the music industry?
I felt so happy and surprised the first time I heard my song on playing on CBS and also the day I won the Hi-Star music awards.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I want to be among the best vocalists in this country.
How do you spend your free time?
I visit interesting places such as beaches and national parks with my family. I also go to clubs.
What is favourite meal?
Matooke and chicken with a glass of juice.