PIONEER: Rapper Navio, real name Daniel Kigozi, linked up with his fan Mike Okuru, a Makerere University student.
Hi Navio. My first question to you is, what inspired you to join the music industry?
Hi Mike. I would say I was inspired by many local rappers, emcees and deejays. Guys like Lethal, Klear Kut, Mc Afrique, and Peter of Music Uganda (RIP) among others.
How come you are better than the other guys in Klear Kut?
(Laughs). I can’t say I’m the best because they are all good and besides when Klear Kut started in the early 21st Century, it’s those guys JB, Myth and Papito who steered me in the right direction. I always had a lot to learn from those guys, they used to correct me when I went wrong. Because these guys put much emphasis on me, they never got a chance to be steered by anyone.
One of my best songs from you is I have A Dream. What advice would you give someone out there who would want to be an artiste?
Focus on talent rather than concentrating on stability. Many upcoming artistes rush and take music as a business. Music needs patience, vision and talent.
How many albums do you have and what is your best among them?
I have three so far. Half A Legend, African Hustler and Pride. Each album has a reason, for example the first album was me at my hungriest, which was typically hardcore hip hop, African Hustler was about me focusing on my musical journey and Pride is basically a fusion of my previous two albums. So I think I would choose Half A Legend because it was my first.
What collaborations are you looking at?
I’m looking at quite a number of them like Kulichana and Teargas from South Africa. Just watch the space.
You are one of the few Ugandan artistes who have tasted some international success. What has Diamond from Tanzania done to get to that International stardom in such a short time?
What people don’t know is that Diamond has been there underground but it’s just that he changed his strategy. More classy videos that can be played on the international market and worthy collabos. It was just his time.
How many children do you have?
I have two, Kisitu (six years old) and Nakimuli (four years old).
You are quite a designer. Who dresses you?
Thank you. I dress myself but when it’s a big gig or corporate function, I use different designers like Paramol, Qwesh, Definition and Rafael.
Who is your role model?
My family. I look up to them. Like my brother Fred, he’s too patient and humble. My mother takes joy in life. But when it comes to music, I look up to people like Jay Z, Sylvester and Abramz, Lyrical G and any politician who isn’t corrupt.
What is your hobby?
I love basketball but apart from that, movies and martial arts do for me.
Who is your favourite sportsman?
Floyd Mayweather. He’s fast, talented and knows how to market himself.
What’s your favourite car?
It’s a Buggati.
With all the beautiful features Uganda has, why do you waste time and money to shoot videos abroad?
If you’ve been keen about my music, I go back and forth. Some are shot here while others are shot abroad. I basically want Uganda to look good outside. How about I asking some questions as well?
What is your favourite Navio song and why?
Buguma with GNL. The combination was awesome and the song was smartly executed.
What is your best Navio video?
On and On with Keith Sweet. My reason is because we never expected the video to be shot due to the fact that he’s a legend and has a busy schedule.
When did you first hear about Navio?
I was in senior one when I listened to Ruckus.
Which direction would you like me to take in the music career?
I think you should put more effort in using African beats in your music like Nigerians do so that your music has a Ugandan touch in it.