Coming of age. Hip hop artiste Mun G feels he has finally arrived on the big stage and he is launching his maiden album this evening. Isaac Ssejjombwe spoke to him.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Mungi Matovu. I was born to Mrs Maria Namirembe Mungi and the late Mungi Matovu. I’m the first born. We are two boys and two girls. I attended Bright Grammar Boarding Primary School and Aga Khan Senior secondary School Masaka, before pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science at Makerere University from 2008 to 2011.
Why Mun G for a stage name?
Well, I decided to separate my name Mungi into Mun and G and got rid of the “I” to add more swag to it. And besides, like the name Mungi (too much), I believe I’m too much for the music industry.
Why hip hop of all genres?
Being the first born in our family, I grew up during the time hip hop had taken over the world. Artistes like Nas and Jay-Z among others were the in-thing during that time and they influenced my music following.
There is also this guy I went to school with called Hudson Ssentumbwe. He came back to school after a long holiday with magazines, CDs, tapes, and told us he had travelled to the US, yet actually he never went there. He told us stories of how he saw performances from those great artistes, which changed my music mindset especially towards the hip hop genre. As the school term commenced, we formed a group called Ghetto Hip Hop, miming Jay-Z, Ja Rule, Eminem and Nas lyrics, which helped us become house hold names at school.
When did you join the music industry?
Professionally, I started in 2008 with Ebintu as my first commercial song but I used to be GNL’s hype man before that.
We understand your maiden concert is slated for this Friday September 7, what should your fans expect?
The Namalayo concert is going to be the best show ever, going by the supporting artistes and production of the show. There is going to be a DJ battle, freestyle session, B-boy dancing and a surprise act. It’s also going to be entirely an hip hop show because hip hop has come a long way to be appreciated.
Who are some of those artistes you are talking about?
I’m talking about the entire Hip Hop fraternity. Artistes like Keko, GNL, Big Trill both from Baboon Forest, Enigma, Navio, Ruyonga, Gravity Omuttujju, LugaLuga squad with others like Juliana, Rabadaba, Goodlyfe, Peter Miles and Jackie Chandiru.
Many Ugandan artistes hold concerts just after one successful, track. Why has it taken you this long to have a concert?
I wanted to have more material on the album before unveiling it in the concert. I respect my fans so much that I wouldn’t release unfinished material.
Please name some of the tracks on this album?
This album has over 17 songs some of which are Namalayo (the title track), Ebintu, GiraTugire, Kili Obvious, Biki Biki, Speaking in Tongues and Champion among others.
To many, Gira Tugire is your best ever selling song. But you decided to name the album Namalyo. Why is that?
The main reason why I named the album Namalayo is simply because the song speaks about me and very many Ugandans. It’s a story that reflects many Ugandan lives. Namalayo means I reached the peak and many Ugandans aspire to that.
How are you going to beat KCCA’s curfew of concerts stopping at 12am with the long list of supporting artistes?
My concert is slated to begin at 7pm sharp and supporting artistes have approximately two hours of performance. I’ll be stepping on stage at 9.30pm and I’ll do both playback and live performance so my fans shouldn’t expect the authorities to intervene during my performance.
High school students went back to school on Monday yet it’s believed they constitute your biggest fan base. Don’t you believe this will affect the turn up to this evening?
Yes, I have a big fan base in high school students but I as well have a big fan base in campusers, downtown people and the corporate world. I’m planning to have a special arrangement for my high school fans come December this year in their third term holidays.
Many people out there are saying you are better than your Baboon Forest boss GNL both lyrically and stage performance. What’s your take on this?
Ummmm, how do I answer this one!!! Yes, I’m better than GNL because I’m a rap artiste and he’s a rap artiste and one thing about us rap artistes is that we all believe we are number one. The only artiste I think is better than me is Eminem but I believe I can out-compete him when it comes to rhyming in Luganda.
Under Baboon Forest, you’ve been branded as Uganda’s “next big thing” in the music industry. What strategy do you have to stay consistent?
I listen to a lot of music from different musicians. Music is like fashion, it keeps changing with time and every artiste has a special thing about them. So I make sure I stay on the right track on every matter that goes on in the music world. I don’t limit myself to only hip hop music. Like the saying goes, “change is inevitable, you either change with change or change will change you.”
The other strategy I use is being original and natural. Many artistes want to sound like so and so, which kills the artiste’s credibility.
Last words to your fans?
Please come and support me at Kati Kati this evening, Colline Hotel Mukono (tommorrow ) and Lido beach Entebbe on Sunday and keep supporting local talent because charity begins at home.