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Four One One

Call me the jewel of the Nile – Lily Kadima

Lily Kadima

Miss afro-fusion: If you are a loyal attender of the Bayimba and Doadoa festivals then Lily Kadima is no new face to you. The afro-fusion artiste famed for songs such as Nazaala, Akuloga, is known for her energy and she will be showcasing that on stage at her Ighe Olinaki concert tonight. Gabriel Buule caught up with the self-proclaimed jewel of the Nile.

1.Who do you sing for?
I used to ask myself the same question when I had just started. I would record music and take it to my siblings to listen. My parents did not know until I released my first single, Akuloga Kuloga, which my mother had to first see on TV to learn that I was doing music.
I was shocked to learn that I have a couple of fans who believe in my music and that drives me to sing more. So to answer your question, I sing for those who like my music.

2. Do you think the kind of music you do is helping you progress as a musician?
It is natural to create a change but again it is nearly impossible to stop change. My style of music is afro-fusion and I believe that is the future of Ugandan music, given the fact that afro musicians are currently doing well and they are benefiting from the trade.
It is a style that existed but was buried when legends such as Paul Kafeero and Herman Basudde died. It is not a mistake that it is coming back in a modern version and that is why we see people like Kenneth Mugabi becoming household names.

3. The afro-fusion genre seems to have a particular loyal section of fans. Isn’t that limiting for you?
As a musician, I appreciate uniqueness and it is true some people categorise us in different ways. There are some who think we are more of cover singers but what we do is record using local beats with modern instruments to create music that relates with the fans.
My music is inspired by stories and that is who we are as Ugandans and Africans. We like listening and telling stories.
Many music lovers are currently converting to afro, given the nature of performances which are live unlike the mainstream where it is all about a replica of a particular beat and CD-aided performances.

4.You use mostly Lusoga in your music. Why?
Not Lusoga as such, all you need to understand is that Kadima is an afro-fusionist who sings in Luganda, Lusoga, English, among other languages.
Basoga are my parents, just like the Baganda. In Busoga the children call me Omudhingu Waife.
My music has sold me in Busoga and I have consolidated my place that side so feel free to call me the jewel of the Nile.
My first hit song, Akuloga, is in Lusoga and so is my new song Ighe Olinaki but I have several songs in other languages that includes the famous Nazaala in Luganda.

5.Do you see mainstream artistes slowly fazed out of the industry?
They are here to stay but their influence is fading out steadily, in a way that you may find that their music is always shortlived.
They are failing to stick to the niche that speaks to the masses. If we choose to record our own beats with modern instruments, our music will be able to get its own identity.
Many musicians are still stuck with Jamaican and Congolese beats and rhythms which disenfranchise the Ugandan music industry.

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