He may be just releasing two songs a year but for Luemas Owabajaja, there is no rush if he does not like what the record sounds like. It is this attention and slow-but-sure-mentality that saw him named Eastern Rapper in last year’s UG Hiphop awards.
Who is Luemas Owabajaja?
My real name is Samuel Sendagire, a visual creative artist and performer. I love doing charity and I am currently working with Grit Africa, an organisation that works with less-privileged children. I also run a clothing line called Owabajaja Wear. I recently won the UGg Hip Hop Eastern Rapper of the year 2017-2018 award.
When did you start doing music?
I started doing music professionally in 2016. However, I used to rap with Byg Ben & Young Blaise in a group called Bayinga, before we split to do solo projects.
What was your first song?
It was called I Made Me, but sadly it did not make it to the airwaves. However, in 2017 I did my second song, Siive Mukyalo, which made rounds on the airwaves in Mbale and Kampala.
True, the song enjoyed ample airplay. What inspired it?
People tell me to be successful you have to be in the city, which I do not think is right. I believe one can be successful anywhere without necessarily going to Kampala. The message I was passing on in the song was that you can make it in life from wherever you are.
Does this mean you would not go to the city?
Let me not contradict myself; I go to Kampala to perform and make money, and secondly I am a Muganda born in Kampala but Mbale is home. I cannot trash the opportunities that are here to go settle in the city.
How did it feel being named Eastern Rapper of the year 2017; with just two songs to your name?
It was such a big achievement for me because I was competing with artistes who release songs after every month, and yet I release two songs a year. For me, this award was such an honour. And this meant that people out there appreciate my type of music.
Two songs a year. Is that a strategy or lack of studio funds?
Well, this has nothing to do with the funds; it is about me releasing new sound, something that is different from what others are bring out. I have a number of songs in studio but they are not released because they do not appeal to me, and I do not want to compromise the quality.
Doesn’t winning an award put you under pressure to release more music for your fans?
True. I am forced to release more music because the award showed that people believed in my me. However, I will not compromise my quality just to appease the fans, I will release a song when I am convinced it meets my quality.
What inspires your music?
Everyday life, what I have personally gone through and what my friends have also faced. That is where I look before I write a song.
How do you balance music with other projects?
I am a multi-tasking person, and I balance the work freely, given that I have a time table of how I run each project. Since man is not an island, my friends help me run some projects.
Rumour has it that you are being signed to one of the major record labels in Mbale. How true is that?
Well, we are still in talks with the management of Babana Basha .
Is it also true that you are beefing with Byg Ben Sukuya, who is under the label that you are about to be signed to?
(Laughs) That is not true. I have grown up with him. We have no grudge. I think people want us to beef but we will not.
Which Ugandan artiste do you want to feature on a song?
That would be Kenneth Mugabi. I love and respect his music.