Hit maker. Paddyman is a producer behind some of the finest songs ruling Uganda’s airwaves. Edgar R. Batte sought out the producer who shared his incredible journey with us
What is the latest song you’ve produced?
Valu Valu by Jose Chameleone.
Valu Valu is the hit of the moment. Tell us about the production process of this song?
Chameleone wasn’t coming to record. He just came by to see my new studios. He liked the place and he asked, “can you sample me anything?” I started playing piano and singing and since my schedule was not tight, we had time. He put on the audio. Unfortunately in the middle of the recording power went off.
I didn’t have a generator then, but he had got the vibe so he sent someone to bring his generator from his home. That same evening, he finished the audio because he had a music show in Dubai the following day, so I gave him a sample and he went with it. When he returned he found it mixed and mastered.
What makes Paddyman unique as a producer among many?
I think it is the way that I understand music.
How do you understand music?
I respect music of any style. I am not circled into one style and I would not refer to myself as an Rn’b producer, hip hop producer, reggae or ragga producer. I listen to a lot of music of different genres for example Basiima Ogenze was a new style I produced. It wasn’t local and not urban but in between. And I respect every artiste the way they come.
You have worked with every big artiste in our music industry, what is it like working with these fellows?
At the moment, it is easy working with them. It is like working with someone who knows what they are doing. They have the confidence in me and this helps us adjust and create new things, which drives our recording or production sessions.
What has been your most memorable production session with an artiste?
The time I worked with Chosen and Walden (famed for Pressure Ya Love). When they came in, they were anxious to get something good and they got it. They were obedient and patient because it took us some time doing Pressure Ya Love, but they were willing to learn and wait.
Is there a production session you wouldn’t want to go through again?
The session I did for Beenie Man and Jose Chameleone for their How We Go song.
What about it didn’t you like?
It was so disorganised, the studio was congested with people. Everyone wanted to have a handshake with Beenie Man. I was in studio but I felt I was on the streets. We did the song in Dream Studios but people came from town to see Beenie Man. In fact, he came in a convoy, guys really respected him. Jose had gotten him hurriedly because he is an international star who wasn’t around for long, and we ended up recording everything he said. Every artiste had faults and that’s why that song took us one or two months to produce and release.
For the moment you were around Beenie how would you describe him?
I cannot tell. A lot of things were happening actually. We spent one and half hours together in studio but the interruptions were many. There were people who brought in their children to have Beenie bless them and then he was signing autographs.
You seem to have been bemused; did you hand over your writing pad to have his autograph?
No I did not.
For the times I have seen you I imagine you are calm, are you as composed as you come off?
(Laughs) I don’t know but I take things slowly.
I guess you rather your works speak louder than you do, so how long would you averagely spend working on a song?
It depends on the artiste and the song we are doing. If it’s a project song it can take six months. There is a song I am working on involving many artistes. It has taken me time
Which song is this and for which project?
It is a song about Africa and this time not about the sad or bad side. Yes we are a hurting continent but we eat and despite the wars we survive. There is that good side of Africa.
Which artistes are you working with on this project?
There are four prominent ones like Jose Chameleone, Jamal, Aziz Azion and Jackie Chandiru but the rest are little known. They are good but the world has not heard their sweet voices. With such projects it is always big artistes that shine but there are these boys and girls the world hasn’t heard.
Do you have a favourite artiste?
Do I have one? I love them all.
You have worked with His Excellency Bobi Wine for some time, who is he to you?
I understand him as an understanding friend. He is a friend. I worked with him and he was my boss when I was working at his studios, but he was never bossy. I think the world doesn’t know him from his other good side.
Which is the good side?
Besides the bad boy, Mubanda wa Kabaka image, he is a listening person. And my advice to fellow producers is that they should not side with one artiste because it will hinder their potential to be harnessed by another artiste. If you work with Bobi Wine there is something that he gives you that Chameleone won’t and Chameleone will give you something Bobi won’t.
Who is your favourite producer?
There are many. I cannot point out. I like producer Allan’s work, Benon and many others.
When did you start chasing the dream of becoming a producer?
I first did part-time production at Kasiwukira studios in 2005 but started fully with Dream Studio in 2006.
Which were the first songs you produced?
Maama Mbiire by Bobi Wine and Juliana Kanyomozi and Kankutendereze by Mesach Semakula. That’s when people realised I could do something with their music.
You’re a singer too, where and when did you start singing?
In church at the United Methodist Church in Jinja. I used to train the choir as a vocalist at Prayer Palace in Makindye where I also played piano and keyboard. From the keyboard, I went to studio. I learnt from people like Eddy Yawe, Travis Kazibwe among other people.
Do you sing as a hobby?
I have a number of songs, all Christian music. I plan to become more serious mid this year.
Away from producing good music, who is Paddy in private?
I am a very simple guy, strong-minded and born again.
You’re known as Paddy Man, what is your birth name?
My name is Paddy Kayiwa Mukasa.
How old are you?
I am now 29 years old, the last born in a family of eight.
What is your last word or words?
It is to musicians. I think everything is possible to those who sing. It’s how much love you put in your singing, I think that’s what matters in music.