Grooming a star: Fresh Kid is undeniably the real new kid on the block. Despite emerging out of the blue, the young artiste caught everyone’s attention from his attitude, rap, and dress code. But how did he get here? Nicolas Akasula sought out the team behind the artist and his music.
Francis Kamoga, Manager
Francis Kamoga first spotted Fresh Kid in his neighborhood. He recounts how he used to see him trying to mimic rapper Fik Fameika’s songs around karaoke joints in Kawanda. He was fascinated by Fresh Kid’s perfection. “I picked interest in him, and later asked for his parents’ permission to promote his talent,” he recounts. Fortunate enough for Kamoga, there would not be much trouble finding a songwriter, because he had a brilliant lyricist in his house – Fred Kabajo who goes by the alias Fourtin K. Bwongo. The two sat and discussed a way forward for the youngster.
Before Fresh Kid, Kamoga owned Texas Entertainment, a dancing group which he still runs alongside his first music signee Fresh Kid. Kamoga prides in having discovered Fresh Kid and making him the artiste he is today. He, however, says he almost abandoned ‘Project Fresh Kid’ after disagreements with DJ Fikie, who played a major role of introducing the youngster to the first few media personalities. “I remember when we went for the After 5 show on NBS TV, DJ Fikie suddenly showed up and forced his way into studio and did all the talking in the capacity of Fresh Kid’s manager yet I was the manager.”
But he is thankful for the stations that gave them a platform, saying it introduced his young talent to Ugandans and is still amazed at how viral this went to the point of attracting a scholarship from Kampala Parents’ school.
About how Fresh Kid will balance music and school, Kamoga said Fresh Kid starts and ends on the stage. At school, you will find a different child — Patrick Ssenyonjo. In fact, even to them Fresh Kid is Patrick and they never plant stardom in his head. The perception of stardom is only among the fans.
For now, the young singer lives in Naguru with his father Paul Mutabazi who is responsible for taking him to school on weekdays and ensuring his school work is done. The manager says the parents on the other hand, will be left with supervising, monitoring that Patrick studies, his accounts are credited and that he is in proper health.
About the Buuza Manager phrase, Kamoga says: “Trust me, no one gives that boy the words he speaks as alleged. He is just sharp.” So far, Kamoga confesses that the journey has not been very rough, with the only outstanding challenge being the time when State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi barred him from singing.
“Otherwise, for now, we foresee a bright future and with the people’s support we will achieve so much. We also intend to boost his YouTube income and we have a team of lawyers pursuing that.”
Fourtin K. Bwongo, Songwriter
His real name is Fred Kabajo, but like many in the entertainment industry, he prefers going by his alias Fourtin K. Bwongo. He might have found his big break in being the man behind Fresh Kid’s music, but before then Bwongo was a struggling rapper. He has been in this industry for four years now, and unlike the presumption that he started rapping when he embarked on penning songs for Fresh kid, he clarifies that he was actually rapping before, with five jams to his name: Watya, Essawa, Maama, Ensolo and Singa
His proximity to Fresh Kid’s manager is what scooped him the role as his songwriter and to be different, he says he has plans of customising the young rapper’s genre. About the style Fresh Kid is currently doing, Kabajo notes that the rapper chose it himself, perhaps having derived interest from local Lugaflow rappers. And then because he happens to also rap in the same style, it was easy for them to gel. “I make sure that I get to know what he is thinking, in order for us to be on the same page, and thereafter I can come up with the lyrics.”
Fresh Kid’s most popular song, Bambi was apparently inspired by the incident where State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs Florence Nakiwala summoned the singer and his crew. The song was done in panic and was meant to cool the fire and soften the minister’s heart.
The lyricist notes that he finds no issues writing for Fresh Kid because usually the biggest challenge for a writer is if the singer is not talented. But if they are, it is a walkover. He adds that his choice of compositions also rotate around Fresh Kid’s situation at the time. For example, Banteka was composed because majority of artists in the game were reportedly down-looking on Fresh Kid merely because he was a child.
“However, before he sings, I make him understand what the song is all about. We do not give him mature lyrics or rob him of his innocence. The songs entirely rotate around his life.”
Akram Kimuli, Stylist
Fresh Kid’s fashion sense is one that will catch anyone’s eye. Besides having the attitude, the boy dresses the part of a star and probably the thing that strikes many the most is that he remains decent; no sagging pants, no ripped jeans, no revealing outfits and no indecent slogan tees. The man behind Fresh Kid’s style is Akram Kimuli, who owns 246 Fashions, a mini boutique found in Kazo in Bwaise, a Kampala suburb. Kimuli’s profile is as brief as Texas Entertainment dancers, whom he has dressed for years. He says he took on the role of dressing Fresh Kid when Kamoga took him under his wings. He says styling Fresh Kid does not take much trouble, and that all he focuses on is finding outfits that have not been around the market, plus perhaps what is on vogue.
The team is currently working on a collaboration with South Africa Got Talent young star Oratilwe AJ Longwave – popularly known as DJ Arch Jnr, who made a name for himself world over, looking to become the world’s Youngest club DJ.
When did you realise you could sing?
It was recently when I started mimicking some local songs.
Are you really seven years?
Yes, I am.
Why do you wink your eyes while speaking?
I do not. That is how I look
Can you freestyle?
Yes, but not for too long.
Do you know Kapilipiti?
He is a young rapper like you. Would you grant him a music battle?
No, because I do not know him.
Why do you keep referring interviewers to your manager?
Because some of the questions they ask are for ‘big’ people.
What message do you have for readers?
I ask them to continue supporting me.