Mwoyo: Singer Maurice Kirya is one of the top RnB artistes in Uganda, having started singing at the age of 16 and he has since introduced a music genre called Mwoyo (soul music). Kirya will be live in concert at Kampala Serena Hotel tonight. He spoke to Lawrence Ogwal about the concert, business and relationships.
What has Maurice Kirya been up to?
A lot. I have just returned from Kenya where I have been doing some acting. I have also been working on some songs and making final touches for my concert.
What movie were you starring in while in Kenya?
It is a big Hollywood project which is not yet done and we were told to keep it private. But I also acted in Lupita Nyongo’s Queen of Katwe which I am excitedly waiting for.
Tonight will be the third edition of the Kirya Live concert, what inspired your annual shows?
I perform at many shows in Uganda and other parts of the world, but this is my baby show. The Kirya Live Show crowns everything that I have been doing through the year. I always make sure it has the best production, in terms of performance and organisation.
Ugandans are used to shows that end late in the night, why do you end so early?
My shows are strictly one-and-a-half hours. I do not have curtain raisers so that I can do a nonstop performance.
But your last concert ended while people were still arriving.
The time was announced on the poster. Those who came in time enjoyed the show. I advise people to come early because the show is going to be better than the previous one.
Why didn’t the Kirya Live concert happen last year?
There was so much going on last year with my family. I lost my mother mid-last year and decided to give everything a break.
Talking about family, we haven’t seen you working with your brother Vampino?
We are actually working on something with him and very soon we shall give you the information.
What do you think of Vampino’s music?
I would rather let him comment on that.
There are always ladies screaming at your shows; don’t they make your girlfriend insecure?
The last time I had a show, my girlfriend was in the crowd and just like any other woman, she felt insecure. I broke up with her last year though, so every girl who will come for my show will be mine. I would even want to take all of them home after the show, but unfortunately my house is very small.
Why did you break up with your girlfriend?
I would rather not talk about it because we all moved on and closed that chapter. We do not talk, but I believe we are still friends.
Why did you shift Sound Cup from Garden City to Village Mall and then closed it?
I shifted from Garden City because my customers were very many and I had little space to accommodate them. About the closure, everything just happened and we had too many things to focus on and decided to temporarily close shop. I love business and very soon I will re-open it.
Was it the only business you were running?
I have four businesses and the biggest are music and acting. I won’t mention the others, but I benefit from things to do with concerts, merchandise and acting.
Talking about Mwoyo music, are there particular artistes you think you have inspired?
I have been doing this type of music since I was 16 years old and I see my kind of style in artistes such as Aziz Azion, Tonix and Qwela Band, among others, although they have never said it. I think my music has inspired artistes such as Jackie Akello, Kenneth Mugabi, Richie and Janzi Band, among others.
What local music do you listen to?
I mostly listen to hip-hop and a little of ragga. I like listening to Babaluku, Ruyonga, Navio, Da Mith and one of my favourites is St Nelly-Sade.
How would you introduce yourself to someone who is meeting you for the first time?
I am a musician and actor who has been doing this for a long time. I am 31 years old and went to Nakivubo Primary School, Kampala Citizens College and never went to university.
Why didn’t you join university?
I wanted to try out something different. I left my father’s home at the age of 16 to start my own life. I used to sing at Sabrina’s Pub, DV8 and also on the streets of Najjanankumbi, just to make ends meet.
How was it starting up in the music Industry?
It was not easy like it is now. There were very few artistes and breaking through was not an easy thing. We left home at the same time with my brothers and everyone took their own path. We used to meet at home on Sundays and at different performances.