FLYING SOLO: His song Bakuwe Kyonywa is still ruling the airwaves and for Nutty Neithan, it is only one bottle out of the depot. As he pursues a solo career, the singer, songwriter and producer talks about his music journey, why he chose to drop out of university, his relationship with singer Empress and music plans. Isaac Ssejjombwe writes.
Is Nutty your real name?
No. Nutty stands for Never Underestimate This Talented Youth or Nice Ugandan Talking in Talent besides You.
So, what is your real name?
Why did you join the music industry?
Actually, it is music that joined me. Professionally, I joined the industry on October 9, 2011, and that is when I realised I had talent. I released my first song Bounce in 2012, which I followed with Good Feeling, Ondaba, Bayaya, Kokonyo, Gwabise, Bakuwe Kyonwa, in that order and my latest called Body to Body. That has been the set up of my music.
Who signed you up first?
I started out as a solo artiste, then joined Goodenuf in 2012, met Barbi Jay, Betta and Jahlive in Sky Zone Entertainment where I featured in an all-star song called Magic Town, but things did not work out the way we expected. I later joined Vocal Police where I spent one year and moved to Supernova Entertainment Group.
We understand you parted ways with Supernova Entertainment Group recently.
Yes, I left Supernova after our one-year contract expired. I did not renew the contract because we had differences that I cannot mention. Our separation was a mutual understanding between the parties involved.
I see you keep jumping from one label to another. Why don’t you settle?
You cannot walk out of your own story, and learning someone takes time. We might stay and make the whole world happy but it is important to make yourself comfortable. I take music as a learning process. I am now a solo artiste and I have learnt from my big brothers Ngoni, Maro, Barbi Jay, Just Jose, and PJ. Our relationship is good. There is no bad blood with any of them.
What did those guys do for your career?
They gave me a platform; they taught me how to present myself. Those are some of the things that give someone the drive to become what they really want to become.
In your view as an artiste, what role does a manager play?
Well to me, a manager is someone who will take off his shoes and give them to you, someone who will starve so that you get something to eat, a person who will protect you at any point in life.
Now that you are a solo artiste, what are you planning for your fans?
My plans are to show you the side of music that has been silent. I am actually calling myself the “New world boss”. Bakuwe Kyonywa was just one bottle but I have a depot of where that came from. I have new collabos coming your way, such as Nalumansi and Wanimba.
What music style do you do?
I call it Wamawungo music. I cannot limit myself, although people call it dancehall music.
We did not see you in the Tubonga Naawe video, neither do we see you on the 2016 campaign trail. Don’t you want to make money?
Music is politics enough, and I am contented with that. I cannot engage myself in any other business that I do not understand.
How different is Nutty Neithan from the rest of the artistes in Uganda?
What I know is that I first had to become myself to be a better person in the music circles. I am also an artiste who uses what he has to achieve his goals.
What is with the blue hair?
The sky is the limit. Other people’s sky is far but mine is just here. Anyway it is just my trade mark.
Would you change it to another colour?
Well, until the meaning of Nutty changes. I have been underestimated on many occasions so I had to look for something unique and with a strong statement.
Congratulations on the new addition to your family. What is the baby’s name again?
I named him Abraham Wamawungo II. He is a drinker like the dad, only that he drinks a lot of milk.
Is he your first child?
Yes he is.
What do you want him to be when he grows up?
Well, he will be a king just like his dad in whatever field he will choose to take.
Who is the mother?
Empress. She is a dancehall artiste.
Tell us about you and her?
She will be the one to tell you. In fact, she expects questions now that she is fit to hit the stage again.
Should we expect wedding invitations or more babies?
I had a “collaboration” with her already and we are planning to have other “collabos”, but she will answer your questions.
How can you compare the music industry today and during the time when you started out?
The music industry is like loam soil; very fertile and empowering. I am happy that we are growing. It is as though we are in a race chasing everyone ahead of us, only that we are flexible and versatile. You will find a Ugandan singing like a Nigerian and at the same time singing like a Jamaican, unlike in the previous years where the industry belonged to a couple of people. We even shifted from analog to digital that is what shows how fast we are moving.
What is your opinion on digital migration?
It was a wise move because we have a lot in stock to watch. There are a variety of channels to choose from.
Tell me about your family and background?
I am a Mugisu. I started school at Nakasero Nursery and Primary School, completed my P. 7 in Mbale then joined Kiira College Butiki but completed my S4 at St Balikudembe SS. I later joined Lubiri SS for my S.5 and then headed back to St Balikudembe Mitala Maria for my S6. I went to Nkumba University for a Bachelors in Information Technology for two years then asked for a dead year in 2012.
You were quite a school roamer…
I was very naughty and a popular figure. You know what comes with popularity.
When are you going to complete that degree?
I will go back when I get that hunger to study again.
So, why Information Technology yet it is not in any way related to what you are doing?
Music is in me. I do not need to study it and with the Ugandan syllabus, they teach a lot that is not necessary and at the end of it all, it kills the morale one has for something.
What inspires you as an artiste?
I am inspired by situations around me. I can sing about the sky or anything. I cannot be inspired by an artiste because they are also like me.
Did you also realise the dream to be an artiste in church like most of musicians?
Yes, I grew up as a church boy but I was not in the church choir. I was a dancer.
Besides music, what else do you do?
I am a choreographer and I also acted in a movie called Dance Flick two years ago. I am also a song writer and producer at the same time; I wrote and produced all Empresses’ songs and mine.
Phone type: IDroid Royale P7.
Soccer Team: Arsenal.
His ladies: A female version of me
The date: KFC because of the nice chicken.
Tavel wish: Brazil because of the ladies.
Favourite song: Bakuwe Kyonya.
I can’t do without… God.
Dream collabo: Winnie Nwagi.
Hidden talent: Painter.