Giovanni Kremer Kiyingi, alias Just Giovanni, is one Uganda’s finest talent more appreciated abroad than at home. The multi-talented instrumentalist was one of the headlining acts at the Mashihavatri Festival in India where he performed for millions of revellers, writes Gabriel Buule.
Who is Giovanni Kiyingi?
I am a musician and instrumentalist. I specialise in Ugandan folk, world and afro-house music. I am a multi-instrumentalist and play several indigenous instruments such as the tube fiddle (endingidi), thumb piano (akogo), African harp (adungu), traditional flute (endere), drums (engoma), and xylophone (amadiinda) among others.
Tell us about your music journey?
My music journey was shaped at St Joseph SS where I started music as a student in the school choir. I enjoyed singing, dancing and playing instruments. I have recorded four albums and I am working on two albums to be released in 2019 called Nomads and Chronicles of Giovanni. I decided to record them differently because they have two different sounds and musical genres. One is world music sound and the other is mainstream centred fusion sound. I composed the 2015 Pope Francis 2015 visit to Uganda theme song. I have performed at several festivals in Uganda that include Bayimba, UNCC festivals and the Mashihavatri Festival in India.
Have you ever used music to hook women?
I am a creator of beautiful sounds and there is a way beautiful music touches people deeply. I create music for everyone, not just for the express purpose of impressing women.
Are you married?
Not yet. I feel getting married right now would be rushing things because I want to let God finish my life story before sharing it with someone else.
Is there any connection between afro soul music and love?
I am 50/50 about this assumption. Afro soul is a fusion of two different expressions so the receiver is the one to let us know if there is love when they listen or watch an Afro soul fusion artist play.
Who is the best Afro-soul singer in Uganda currently?
I am still following a few with a unique touch so I cannot conclude my research now, but yes Uganda has some good Afro Soul artists. There are people like my brother Kenneth Mugabi, Maurice Kirya and Juliana Kanyomozi. I respect these artists because of the quality of their music and my dream is to sing with them.
What do you like in a woman?
Whenever I interact with a woman who is smarter than me, I feel a momentary shift in my self-evaluation which makes me to feel so special. So basically I want a woman who is intelligent, understanding, caring, hardworking and beautiful.
Would you marry a musician?
Why would I marry a person who will love her music more than she loves me or her family? Musicians’ love for notes, arrangement, lyricism and performance never ends; they are always looking for more. However, even though for now I believe I cannot marry a fellow musician I believe that God has planned someone special and she is out there waiting for me to get ready.
A woman with or without make-up?
I prefer a woman who does not wear make-up because I have noticed that most women who are insecure tend to use makeup to appear more confident. There is nothing more beautiful to me than a woman confident in her natural skin.