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Tubonga Naawe was a job, we went for it


Radio & Weasle. Photo by Dominic Bukenya

Radio and Weasel will have their ninth concert dubbed ‘Omwana Wabandi’ tonight at Hotel Africana People’s Space.
‘Omwana W’abandi’ follows last year’s hugely successful concert – The Best of Radio and Weasel. Omwana Wabandi is a title of one of their latest songs, although the album also has songs such as Kirimanyi, Nkwagala, Wiggle wiggle, Burning Fire, Golden Girl, Sky Walker, Tabula Edagala, Sit Down, Twamukwekula among others.

Tonight concert will feature Nigerian singer Cynthia Morgan known for songs such as German Juice, Simatiniya, and I Am Taken.
According to Radio and Weasel, there will also be a guest appearance by another male international singer.
“We shall have a performance from a brother who is not Ugandan but right now we don’t want to disclose his name because he will be a surprise to the crowd.” The duo also confirmed that Jose Chameleone, Bebe Cool, Pallaso, Irene Ntale and Mun G among others will also be among the performers at the concert.

A few months ago when the singing duo just announced May 13 as their concert date, Mickie Wine, Ghetto president Bobi Wine’s younger brother, inquired about using the Hotel Equatorial parking lot on the same day for his album launch, while Mathias Walukagga, a renowned kadongokamu artiste, will also hold his ‘Referee’ album launch at Freedom City tonight.
“We are a big brand; we do not care whether they hold concerts on the same day as us,” Radio said. “We depend on each other, share the same common goals”.

On rumours about Radio and Weasel breaking up soon…

Radio and Weasel

Radio and Weasel

Rumours have made rounds that the duo was splitting up last year after 10 years together. However, they rubbished the allegations, saying they still have more dreams together.
“We are still working together and we have so many songs for our fans. Those circulating the rumours just want us to separate but not now because we have a lot of dreams to achieve together,” Weasel said. On why they are rarely seen together at events and hangouts lately, he said Radio just prefers to stay home and watch TV these days while he (Weasel) still wants to go out more often.

What about Radio’s bald look
Having had his dreadlocks for more than 10 years, Radio shocked fans when he posted a picture on Facebook of his bald head. Although rumour spin mills hurried to conclude it was a sort of apology for Tubonga Naawe, the singer says he just wanted to change his look. “When I had my dreads, no one asked how long I was having them but they were instead too fast to ask why I cut them off,” Radio said. When Weasel was asked if he planned to cut off his hair too, his reply was that he could do so if he makes up his mind because everyone has a right to do what they want.

The Tubonga Naawe project…
Radio and Weasel were among the 12 artistes selected to participate on the Tubonga Naawe project and they also performed on the NRM campaign trails, which did not go down well with some sections of the public, who threatened to boycott shows of every artiste who participated on that project.
The threats caused too much pressure in that some artistes came out and apologised but not these two. “We have never been sorry for working. We cannot apologise for working and if we want to do charity, we just get some money that we have collected from the shows that we have done and go do charity. We don’t care what people say or think but we were working.”

The artistes also said this is not the biggest controversy they have received in their music career because Uganda has been fighting them ever since they started out. They say they have survived this long because music is what they chose to do while other people chose to do something else. “Our music has value, that is why we put a price to it and our loyal fans have been supporting us even before the project”.

But why Museveni’s campaign trail?

President Museveni

President Museveni

When asked about the rumours that a certain politician approached them with less money to be on his campaign trail, Radio had this to say. “I cannot sit down when there is a job somewhere, especially if it pays a lot more; we are paid to sing at different events. We are artistes, we don’t care which political party contracts us, as long as there is money, there is Radio and Weasel.”
Radio gave an example of him being a big supporter of Arsenal, an English football club but can do anything when there is money. “When I am paid to sing and praise a song about Arsenal, I will do it and when another person is willing to pay me more money to praise a rival team, I will praise it as though I am a fan,” Radio said.

And the boycotting threats?

“It is up to them, this show is not free of charge, and it involves money. Those who have never supported us will never. Someone must love you to pay for your show. Don’t waste time trying to impress people because you will never be loved by everyone,” Radio says concerning people’s threats of boycotting their show tonight.
According to Weasel, people don’t understand that artistes have something to sell to politicians but politicians do not have anything to sell to artistes. “What does a politician sell to you apart from lies and empty promises?

About doing collaborations with other artistes
The duo says they always don’t have plans of doing collaborations with other artistes but it is a gradual process to reach an understanding other than rushing things. “ For a collaboration to come out nice, you don’t just need to collide with someone, you need to be friends and understand each other, a nice song comes from friends working together or people should first have a cause in order to come up with a good song because the Industry is tricky” Radio said.

This Weasel-Khalifah Aganaga beef…
Weasel has always been having an ongoing beef with Singer Khalifa Aganaga, who recently posted a video of himself on Facebook saying he went to the same 0-Level school and attended the same class with Weasel who always came last in class. Weasel had never responded to this, but during the interview, he didn’t deny going to the same school with Aganaga. “We studied together but if I was the last it is fine but is he richer than me now? He doesn’t even have five boxer shorts at his home but he still talks about history,” Weasel said.

Their manager and used-to-be singer Chagga intervened and said he did not go to school but he is now a manager. Chagga went on to say Radio is a graduate in Psychology but he is into music. Besides you should respect what someone has and not what he used to be or what he used to have.

Why less international recognition lately?

The artistes have always been known as a dynamic duo and in the last five or so years, they had single handedly taken Uganda on the international scene with nominations in various awards such as BET, and MAMA awards. They have won some a Best Collaboration song award for Kiboko Changu alongside Kenya’s Amani and their videos have received heavy rotation on international channels such as Trace and Channel O. Lately, however, it seems they gave up on that dream but Radio interjects, saying there are so many artistes on the African continent who share the same blessing of being talented.

“Because Africa has a lot of talent, sometimes you have to give way for another artiste. It is not a very selfish business so artistes have to be changed to give variety to the fans and the audiences, which is entertaining,” Radio says. Weasel adds that there is a time artistes such as Cabo Snoop, Jose Chameleone, 2Face and others dominated but you don’t see them anymore, not because they are not talented but because it is someone else’s time.

Radio and weasel

Radio and weasel

Whatever happened to the liquid soap biz?
Last year, during the Best of Radio and Weasel concert, the two artistes introduced their business venture – liquid soap and text books – branded with their names.
“Business is still picking,” Weasel said. However, we are making more money from our recording studio called Goodlyf Magic. This is where our current tracks are recorded by our new producer Eli Arkhis.”
Previously, the duo worked with Washington as well as other producers elsewhere.

What next…
The Goodlyfe artistes say they are focused on doing what they think will keep them the best artistes in Uganda. “We have supported new talent because we want a challenge, it is not good for us to keep running and no one is chasing us from behind. It is always good to know you are in a race with some people, it makes you work even harder than before,” Weasel says. Radio on the other hand thinks that there are many talented artistes in Uganda, including Winnie Nwagi, Irene Ntale, Cindy, Sheebah and Spice Diana among others.

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