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Date with a celeb : Barbi Jay started out his musical journey in church


Rising star: Barbi Jay is an artiste, producer and businessman. He meets his fan Sharon Asiimwe.

What is the first song you recorded?
Chocolate Girl was the first professional track I recorded in 2012 with Aziz Azion.

What where you doing before recording that song?
Before that track, I was in church singing and playing instruments. From there, I learnt music production and started producing music for Aziz in his Studio 84 in 2010.

Who did you look up to when you started doing music?
The late Paul Kafeero’s Omwana WoMuzungu song was a masterpiece and it inspired me to start singing. Aziz Azion also played a part in my decision making.

Where do you produce songs from?
I record them from my studio called Reverb and besides my own songs like Sumbusa with Kenzo, Tombuuza, Wire, Bwerere, Muliwa Abidigize and Emilina among others; I have produced other songs like Nice and Lovely for Kenzo, Katonotono and Mchuzi Mchuzi for Rema, Oxygen for Aziz Azion, Malangaja for Gravity and Ekikumi for Big Eye, to mention a few.

Why did you give your studio that name?
Reverb is one of the music effects, so because music is what I do, I had to relate the studio name to music.

How much do you know about music production?
I believe I’m the best there is, which means I know it to that extent.

Why do you think most artistes reside in Makindye?
Easy accessibility to and from town especially with Nsambya and Kibuye Roads, and it’s the Beverly Hills’ of Uganda, so because artistes already stay there, others are attracted to the place.

What is your best song?
Emilina because I spent a lot of time on it compared to my other songs. It’s different from my other songs.

How best would you describe yourself?
I’m a son to the late Mr Joel Bilinyagwa who was a soldier and Ms Ruth Namara. I grew up in police units around the city and I’m the fourth born of seven children. I’m a simple guy, quiet, a movie freak and I do gym every evening and sauna every weekend.

What kind of movies do you love?
Black American movies, science fictions and Ugandan movies.

Who is your best Ugandan artiste?
Eddy Kenzo because he has been able to achieve quite a lot in a short period of time.

What do you want to achieve in music?
I want to get a beach house, be recognised internationally and engage in more business ventures through music.

What kind of music do you love listening to?
I love Zouk and Rn’B, because it is the kind of music that I do.

What car do you drive?
A Toyota Noah.

When was the last time you went to the village?
Last month I went to my mum’s village, but I have spent a year without going to my dad’s.

If you were stuck somewhere, what first number would you call for help?
My mum’s because it’s the only other number I have off my head besides mine.

What do you hate about musicians?
Radio and Chameleone are so skinny yet they have everything to look good. They should start working out.

I have heard that artistes are involved with sugar mummies who invest lots of money in their music careers. Are you one of them?
I haven’t been involved with a sugar mummy and will never. My biological mum helps me out when I’m stuck and we are also business partners.

What is the best gift you’ve ever given to your mum?
On Mother’s Day, I bought her a hand bag, a set of earrings and a necklace, all amounting to Shs700,000.

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