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Celebrity Profiles

Paul Flugal: Mbale’s jack of all trades

Paul Namakali is known to many in Mbale as Paul Flugal. He has skills in playing the acoustic guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, ukulele, trumpet, flugelhorn and a bit of piano.


How and when did you get into music?
It all started five years ago at a classical brass band started by a British man at Nabuyonga Primary School. I later found my passion when I touched my first guitar in 2014 at a local church where I learnt how to play different genres of music until I established myself as a bassist and guitarist.

What songs have you worked on?
I have been working closely with Producer Dan Ruiza of Thatch Record Studio, and some of the songs we worked on include Itsa Eno, Mbola by Sharon Sento, Nalose by Leumas, Nile by Isaiah Destiny and a few more.

Have you worked with any musicians?
I have worked with regional award winner Isaiah Destiny when he represented Uganda at the Karibu Music Festival in Dar es Salam in November 2018 and at his Giant in Me concert in October 2018. I have been trying to bring in a fusion of blues and jazz on his upcoming album. I have also worked with Sharon Sento and I played the bass and guitar on her upcoming songs Itsa Eno, Nakobola, Mbola. Also regional award winning rapper Leumas Owabajaja is one of the musicians I have greatly learnt from because of his love for reviving culture in his songs.

Do you have any musical training?
I had a one-year guitar training from James Masaba and then after I got a few class on sight reading at a music school in Kampala. I have not had a consistent music teacher in my life, most of the things I play now are self-taught.

What keeps you going?
I work with an organisation that helps orphans and widows in Mbale and Bududa. I mentor children in music and also help them when they need any emotional help because I am certified by the American Bible Society.

What do you think of Ugandan music?
Ugandan music is one of the best in Africa. We have had great legends such as Phily Bongole Lutaya who released songs that changed the world and also left an impact in the music world. Though I feel music has been duplicated due to availability of machines to produce.

Who are the musicians that you look up to? Isaiah Katumwa, Kenneth Mugabi, Charmant Mushaga, Hugh Makelela and Irene Ntale.

What makes you different from others Ugandan music producers?
The kind of music we have been creating with the main producer Dan is not one genre. We have tried to fuse our gishu cultural music with other genres such as jazz, blues, soul and folk. So I think this has made the songs we are working on different.

Who is that one artiste you would like to work with here in Uganda?
The jazz king himself, Isaiah Katumwa and Maurice Kiirya.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I want to be able to create music with different people, for example the West African cultural musician Lokua Kanza who is a Congolese and solo bassist for Richard Bona.

Any achievements?
I have not had great achievements in music apart from finding myself successful in writing tracks for some of the musicians in my town. The achievement I count for now is being the youngest bassist at the Karibu Music festival in Tanzania. Playing for Isaiah Destiny gave me exposure and other musicians too appreciated how I played.

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