KNIGHT. Kenneth Mugabi is a singer and song writer who fuses folk, storytelling and live instruments to make music. His sensational appeasing voice touches the hearts of fans and reminds them of the legendary Kandongo Kamu singers, Paul Kafeero and Herman Basudde. He is a popular face at corporate functions and the weekly comedy show at National Theatre dubbed Comedicine, writes Gabriel Buule.
Who is Kenneth Mugabi?
I am just a vessel through which music flows. I don’t claim anything because music comes to me and I figure out how to present it to the audience, in a way that can be understood.
I went to Kibuli Primary School where I was exposed to traditional music. I later went to Lubiri High School for my O and A-Levels and pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Music, Dance and Drama at Makerere University.
At what point in life did you decide to do music commercially?
During the Cocacola Rated Next competition, four years ago, I realised I could make money out of music. I also took part in the Tusker Project Fame but I was bounced in the second round. At Rated Next, I did well with my original compositions and that is when people started recognising my unique voice.
What makes you stand out as an artiste?
I am passionate about music. My genre is Afro-soul. I am an urban soul storyteller. With soul as my signature genre, stories can be told with deeper feelings. Soul music aims at soothing souls.
Do you believe your music can be a solution to relationship woes?
At the mention of my song Naki, the crowd will go wild. If she has issues with you, just pick lines in my songs like Nkwegomba Nkulabamu abalongo… (I admire you, I see beautiful twins in you). My music can soothe broken hearts. Not only my music, but literally music heals broken souls.
How do you feel when people use your music without your consent?
Well, all art is made for public consumption. But it is draining for someone to use your art or creative work without acknowledging the author. But I do understand that Uganda’s copyright law is not enforced.
Is your music about women only?
Every song I do serves a different purpose.
It is true that women are crazy about my music but I sing for the general public.
Are you married?
Tell us about your new album
The new album dubbed Ugandan, features four prominent female artistes of a different genre of music. The Ugandan album is a challenge I am ready for. What makes my new album stand out is that it will exhibit career growth as an artiste. The album has magical vocal depth. I will be performing at Uganda North American Association (UNAA) in Chicago, USA in August. My new ballads include Oliwa, Nkwegomba, Embeera, among many.
Would you hurt a woman?
I respect women and mothers. I was raised in a family where my late mother was a princess. This means she was treated like a queen. I can’t stand a person who subjects a woman to any sort of indignity. That is why my lyrics are respectful to women.