This is your first concert, how excited are you?
Yes it is. I’m extremely excited, nervous and scared because I want everything to be on point.
After all these years on stage performing at other people’s concerts, events and having video premiers, you are still scared?
I’m scared because this is my show. I believe I have to double my effort. I’m doing this live and I will be on stage for more than two hours which I haven’t done before.
Tell me about your success story in the music industry
It has been hard and challenging because I started as a dancer when I was 15 years in a karaoke group called Stingerz. We used to perform at Eden Service Park in Bwaise every Saturday and at Caesar’s Palace in Namugongo every Sunday. So one time, Obsessions wanted extras so they hired the whole group and after pulling it off, we went back to our normal routine. Then after some months, Ronnie calls me and he offers me a slot in the group because Cleopatra was leaving and she needed a replacement. That was a dream come true because at that moment every girl wanted to be part of Obsessions. I was there for two and a half years and in 2011, I started my solo career.
What was your turning point?
My turning point was when I released the Ice Cream video. I was still managing myself at the time. I was craving and desperate for a manager because I knew I could do it but I needed someone to push my music because I couldn’t do it all. I had five songs before I recorded ice cream. Songs like ‘Nsali’, Automatic, Baliwa, Kambalaga, Nkwetaga but there was something missing and the crowd always said I couldn’t make it. I was rejected, bills were piling up on me, there was always something negative to say about me – “She’s skimpy, she’s not talented” and all sorts of things. Everything was going wrong for me. I needed a smart manager, someone who could sell me. Someone who could make my songs hits. It took me one year to make the video of Ice Cream because I knew it wouldn’t be a big tune with an ordinary video so I got a chance to attend an event (Miss Uganda South Africa) curtain-raising for Bebe Cool and the money I got I used to shoot it. I received a call from, Jeff Kiwa. He told me how the video is good, how I should be promoting it in bars and so on.
Is that how you joined Team No Sleep?
After telling me all that, I told him I don’t have a car and he said he would be picking and dropping me home to promote the song and after that, he promised to do just one project for me as a friend and he took on Twesana. After the success of the song, I realized that he was the manager I was desperately looking for. We started working since then.
Why do you think people are crazy about you now yet they were never before?
First of all when my management changed, I started making more proper music, dope videos, getting proper promotions. And then my character as well. I don’t have to cover up who I am, and that attracted some people to me because they love real people. Other enjoy the hits.
Why do you portray yourself as a skimpy artiste yet you have young followers?
I don’t believe the skimpy things I put on have anything to do with who I am and what I can do and what kind of role model I am. And besides they see these things on TV. Even worse. Rihanna, Lady Gaga are two times skimpier than me. This is who I am and this is my character. There are some things you are going to love about me and there are others you are going to hate. You can be inspired by the good things I have and leave out the rest. I don’t want to complicate my life by trying so much to be a role model but forgetting that I’m also human. I have a role to play in my own life.
Which is your best song among those you have done?
I love Kisasi Kimu because of the story. It’s powerful. It’s my story, I’ve fought through this industry through thick and thin, the disrespect, negative media so the song make me feel that finally I’m heading there.
Talking about ‘Kisasi kimu’, It’s a song that earned you your first nomination in the MAMAS. Tell us about the experience?
I won. Let me be honest about that. I come from Kawempe, I leave home at 15 years, I move on the streets to look for a group to dance in, I join stingers then Obsessions and here I am, a MAMAS nominee. That was a win. I presented two awards, I got a moment with artistes, I got connections.
What did you learn from there?
I leant that other countries really respect their artistes, I was in a room with artistes like Yemi Alade, Pato Ranking, actress Jackie Apiah and others but the respect was all the same. I loved that. We work so hard to where we are and don’t need to be categorized when we are in a room full of stars which is too much here. There a woman comes first.
You are in an industry that is dominated my male artistes. What strategy do you have to get on top of those guys?
I love thinking like them, they don’t mix personal feeling with business. I work with only men on my team and the speed they work with is so tremendous, they work day in day out and I do the same. At the end of the day, what a man can do, a woman can do double.