Just a couple of songs into his performance, one of my friends turned to me and said, “Omusajja tumubye” meaning that we the fans had cheated Neyo. I could not agree more. The guy gave us one of the best live music experiences ever performed by an international superstar in Kampala in a long time. It was also a free music lecture to many Ugandan artistes who have consistently defrauded us with half-baked concerts mbu Bobi Wine live in concert. Just because you have a live band backing you doesn’t mean that you have all the ingredients for a successful live concert. From what I saw, I do not think we do live concerts in Uganda. The bar is unrealistically high and it is only a bunch of artistes who can actually come close, otherwise artistes who come here are literally just on vacation. A bunch of jokers to put it precisely.
Ne-Yo, for one, takes his craft seriously. If you have followed his music journey online, you will notice that the guy lives and breathes music. From the midas touch he lends to songwriting, the quality in his music and lastly to his stage performances, two things stand out for me; the attention to detail and the fact that he is a workaholic. He is a perfectionist who will do anything to see that his fans always get the best of him and this comes at a price. A price that not many Ugandan artistes are willing to pay.
Many artistes in Uganda do not take their craft seriously and are simply doing music for the sake of survival or because they believe they can achieve fame and fortune instantly without a drop of sweat. Guys like Ne-Yo know that it takes more than just having talent to make it as an artiste or staying as one – they nurture their talent. Obviously, the systems here are inferior to the ones abroad but artistes who have gone ahead to put in work have eventually reaped massively. Hard work beats talent any day when talent is not willing to work hard. It is that simple!
On a personal level, I thought the show was great, if not the best ever seen on a Kampala turf. It does not matter whether you are a fan of Ne-Yo or not but if you are a fan of good music, I am sure it was something of a marvel to see how well Ne-Yo worked the crowd with his voice, stage presence, instruments, dancers and crowd interaction. It is not everyday that you have a song sound just as good as it sounds off a CD. That takes a lot to pull off but the guy did it and that should be something to learn from, especially some of these dancehall artistes who believe that the best thing to have ever happened to a mic was them shouting, “Pulloooooo Dj”. What a disgrace! Artistes, stop sleeping in ‘class’.
Wama nice weekend guys.