They say two heads are better than one, and musically speaking, collaboration or collabos in our music speak are all the rage. In the past, working together on a song was shunned for various reasons but to date, some of the surest ways of making a hit is combining musical forces.
Ragga Dee is a music veteran who used to go it alone but later took to the collabo bandwagon. Before working with Tanzanian rapper, AY on Tam Tam, the chubby singer cited some anomalies. Some, he said, include fighting over the song’s ownership especially if it becomes a hit. “There is the issue of performing it together on stage. When one is not around, it becomes a challenge,” Dee explains.
However, these days, collabos are the way to go and it is hard to find a musician who hasn’t collaborated with another artiste. Some use them to gain ground and for this reason, Radio and Weasel are the guys to go to. The Goodlyfe boys have in turn used the collaborations to gain a win-win situation whereby they also benefit by increasing their body of work while making others rise.
They collaborated with OS*Suuna for their breakthrough hit Nakudata before doing many others such as Nyumbani with Viboyo, Ability with Raba Daba, Mr Right with GNL Zamba, Rescue Me with Toniks, Potential with Zambia’s General Ozzy, and Where you are with Blu*3. Recently they worked with Keko on her How We Do remix that won them a Channel O award late last year.They have also worked with veteran Shanks Gumaras on Dudu and did Pollination with Obsessions.
Goodlyfe also featured on the All Stars set for Mr. DJ as well as the Whistle Song (Locomotive) and also joined hands with another sought after collaborator, Sizzaman Dictionary on Taxi Money. They have also worked with Diamond Oscar, Red Banton and they were responsible for Chance Nalubega’s brief revival of her career.
Sizzaman is a solo artiste and can hold his own comfortably as evidenced from Mafaranga, China Phone and Angella. But he has featured in Ina Di Dance alongside Buchaman, Gen. Mega Dee and Bobi Wine, with Ngoni on Nsota and Sheeba on Automatic. Sizzaman is a much sought after collaborator what with his wacky but creative lyrics done in a witty way.
Bebe Cool must be Uganda’s Akon, T-Pain or Lil Wayne for perhaps having the most number of collaborations. From Halima Namakula to Sylvia Kyansuti, Dizzy Nuts, Kid Fox, Tikie Tah, Bobi Wine, Chameleone, Rwanda’s Alpha, Tanzania’s AY and as a group (EABC) featuring Kenya’s Necessary Noise. He has also worked with Chizzo, Gasuza, Iryn, Angella Katatumba, Remah and with Tuff B among other up and coming talent. But the biggest we are all waiting for are his songs with spouse Zuena Kirema.
There are artistes who have never held their own, but their moment to shine always comes on a collabo. Mosh is one such artiste who has featured on songs by Ngoni, Obsessions, Desire, Dorothy Bukirwa and Sweet Kid besides featuring on the A Little Bit of Love project.
Tikie Tah touts himself as a gospel artiste but many of his collabos have been with secular artistes such as Jose Chameleone, Bebe Cool and The Mith as well as appearing on a Swangz Ave project, Feelings, but we are still awaiting his solo projects.
Others use collabos to expand their appeal and fanbase and Toniks is such a kind. After realising the magic of collabos when he worked with OS* Suuna on January to December and Radio and Weasel on Rescue Me, he decided this was the way to gain continental appeal. He has worked with Zambia’s Roberto on Swag Meter, Namibia’s female duo Gal Level and he is looking forward to working with the young sensation Wizkid from Nigeria.
Then there are artistes other artistes would want to work with, but many don’t go public about it. Most artistes, when asked which artiste they would want to work with, say they would “die” to work with Juliana. Perhaps its because unlike Bebe Cool who will do a collabo with any artiste any day, Juliana is selective on who she works with and thus the up and coming artistes consider it a big opportunity to work with her. Nevertheless, Juliana also has a huge catalogue of collabos. She has worked with Bobi Wine on the mega hits Taata Wa’baana Yani and Mama Mbiire, with Sweet Kid on Silina Yo Mulala, with Vampino, Keko and Cindy on the Kwekunyakunya remix, with Bushoke on Usiende Mbali, Burundi’s Kidum on Hatarudi Nyuma and most recently with Kenyan based Congolese Alicios on Mpita Njia.
Then there are those artistes who choose to repeatedly collaborate with similar artistes you would think they are a duo. You can’t count the number of songs Bobi Wine has with Nubian Lee and of recent Chameleone and Papa Cidy.
Looks like collabos are the trend these days and no one wants to be left out on this marriage of convenience.