DANCEHALL FIESTA: We have had music battles between local acts, but now promoters have decided to put Jamaican stars Busy Signal and Konshens on the same stage this evening, Darius Mugisha weighs in on who is most likely to carry the day
The stage has been set; sound has been tested and the security at Lugogo Cricket Oval is akin to that of a soccer World Cup finals match. Two musical elephants in Jamaican sensations Busy Signal and Konshens, who are both already in the country, are set to prove their musical prowess to their Ugandan fans at a show dubbed The Battle: Konshens Vs Busy Signal due tonight at the Lugogo Cricket Oval.
The two countrymen share similar musical journeys. Konshens and Busy Signal would both have been to Uganda twice before, but Busy Signal missed his second trip to Kampala last year due to health alerts.
Promoter Suudi Lukwago, of Suudiman, who had organised the show, told journalists at a press briefing back then that Signal had insisted on postponing the show because he had faced hostility in a certain African state days to his trip to Uganda. However, we later established that Signal’s team cancelled their trip to Kampala after one of their African embassies warned of an Ebola pandemic on the continent.
While Konshens enjoyed a full house for his last two shows in the country, Signal’s debut concert in Kampala held at the same venue that hosts this evening’s battle, was not very well attended. Reason? The show happened the same day as the highly anticipated battle between Bebe Cool and his (then) rivals Radio & Weasel.
But pundits argue that it’s not enough to pass a verdict basing on past visits, noting that the circumstances of the shows were not the same. Besides good music, Konshens just like one of his mentors Shaggy, has a wider appeal to women. “He knows how to talk to the ladies and he rides on it. Besides most of his songs being about women, his music videos are always full of women. And many women find him (Konshens) attractive. His music then becomes a supplement because he is always preaching to the converted,” says Freddie Sakura, a KFM presenter and music scheduler.
However, Konshens received some negative comments on his second visit, during which he shared the stage with Jamaican diva Alaine, whom many said put up a better performance than him.
Signal on the other hand, is a reggae maestro. His Reggae Music hit, that was released after he was incarcerated in a prison in the US, made him an instant global star. Konshens had been a star – at least in Uganda, before we got to know who Signal was. However, in the past three years, Signal has been magical. Everything he touched became an instant global hit. He redid a number of classics and all of them turned into club bangers.
The battle lines have been drawn and we are convinced that you will have your own verdict by the end of the show.
Born Garfield Spence, Konshens’ musical career started in early 2005 while in the duo Sojah with his older brother Delus. At the time he had a 9am to 5pm job, which he juggled with music. In the end, music triumphed over the other job.
But it was at Cash Flow Studios that they recorded a string of demos and stumbled upon what would be the track to jumpstart their career, Pon Di Corner.
This prompted a one month tour of Japan in 2005, another three weeks tour in 2006 and then the release of an album exclusively to Japan the same year. Konshens insisted he would take one step at a time until his name and work is cemented in history.
He is one of the most sought after artistes in the past few years. Some of his famous songs include Couple Up, Gal a Bubble, The realest song, Do Sum’n, Bounce, Simple song, Gyal Sidung, We A Hustle, Walk and Wine, Pull Up To Mi Bumper and Stop Sign.
About Busy Signal
Born Glendale Gordon but later changed his name to Reanno Gordon. Busy Signal was born on January 24, 1982 and raised alongside three brothers and a sister by his devoutly Christian mother in the St Ann’s parish community of Brown’s Town, Kingston, Jamaica. Busy’s first exposure to music, like so many Jamaican youth, was in the church. While attending services and singing hymns he realised he possessed immense vocal talent and earned his very first encore from the church congregation. When services concluded, Busy would substitute the hymnal lyrics with his own words, much to the consternation of his mother. On May 21, 2012, Gordon was arrested at the Norman Manley International Airport in Jamaica due to an extradition warrant from the US. He was extradited to the US on 19 June where he faced cocaine-related charges and received a six-month prison sentence. Upon his release, BBC Music ranked his song Reggae Music Again no.7 on their Top 25 Albums of 2012 listing. He has songs like Watch Out fi Dis ft Major Lazer, Come Over, One More Night, Night Shift, Bedroom Bully, Reggae Music Again and The Gambler- a remix of Ken Rogers’ 80s Gambler hit.
About the concert
Venue: The Konshens Vs Busy Signal battle is slated for this evening at Lugogo Cricket Oval. The Pepsi-sponsored event will also have singers Nutty Neithan, A Pass.
Entrance: Shs 30,000 (Silver) and Shs75,000 for (VIP) seats. Gates will be open by 4pm.
Joint promotion: The show that is being organised by promoters Balam Barugahare (aka Ssabavulu) and Benon Kasekende of BK- Afrobeat.
Who will win the battle?
For the Ugandan audience, Konshens’ message against gayism is a plus; but he also has more danceable beats and he has the women on his side. This show will have more women and Konshens is likely to win. However, Busy Signal is a good singer and he wows on the mic.
Busy Signal has more energy and a bigger vocal power. But Ugandans are into more dancehall than reggae so they might like Konshens more.
Mosh Sendi- Presenter-Galaxy FM
The battle will be a close one but I think Busy will walk away with it because dude is versatile, incredible and he has been consistent year in, year out. I know so many new Konshens songs that unfortunately haven’t hit the market yet but Busy has some new songs that are hits already, so I believe Busy will win this battle.
Patrick Idringi Salvador – comedian
Konshens will definitely win this one; he has more stage presence, more energetic performance and more songs.Sean Oseku – Presenter KFM.
Obviously Busy Signal is bigger than Konshens. He is a better performer and the fact that he does reggae is a plus. Konshens does a fusion of Rn’b and dancehall, but that has no identity.
Mary Luswata: Presenter XFM/ Urban TV
I’ve watched the two perform before and I think Busy Signal will win the battle.
Irene Ntale- musician