northern connection: Eezzy is what everyone calls him but his real name is Erick Opoka and he is a second year student of Industrial Art and Design at Kyambogo University. Polycap Kalokwera spoke with the artiste.
When did you start doing music?
In 2012 after meeting Lumix Da Don (RIP). He wrote for me a song and recorded it free of charge at his Valley Curve Recordz based in Ntinda but it was just for fun until I did a collaboration with Liama in 2017.
What inspired you to join music?
The hustle. I always see artistes struggle to build their brand. But also since childhood music had a place in my heart because I love to entertain people around me.
What genre of music do you ride on?
I am a versatile artiste. I will kill it for you on dancehall, hip hop or afrobeat but truth be told, I am married to hip hop because it makes me express my feelings and emotions perfectly.
Are you signed to any record label?
No I have never been signed to any record label but I have worked with many such as Sky Light Promotion and Purple Cord that have really shaped my game and made me who I am today. I have my own management team and they have envisioned a bright future ahead of me.
How many songs have you released so far?
My breakthrough song was Ka Imito featuring Liama, a love song that kept people asking for more because it was legit. The feedback gave me courage to release Hold On, Take It Easy, Giti Tye Kwene, Take Over, Wine Fi Mi, Mak Mukemi and the latest War Bed Pole. These songs are so rich lyrically.
How many collabos have you done so far?
I have something with DJ Shiru, Naira Ali, Liama Irene and many others with Beenie Gunter, Fik Fameica, Fille, Nutty Neithan, among others are underway.
Your music appeals to both the young and old, how do you do it?
Life makes the magic happen for me because all my lyrics entail what life is about.
The music industry in Uganda and Africa is too competitive. What drives your music as Eezzy?
Music is life and the industry is frequently evolving. That is why I work extremely hard because it pays off when you get out of your comfort zone.
Your music has dominated the airwaves in northern Uganda and across. How do you promote your music?
Music is more like socialising and that requires one to be friendly so as to create networks and that has been one of my major strategies.
What do you think of Uganda’s music industry?
This industry is appealing to both old and new talent. However, it is not leveled enough to allow new artistes blossom.
Besides music, what else do you do?
I am a business-oriented person and I do fashion design, among other things that keep me financially stable.
What are some of the challenges you face in this industry?
Besides the unpleasant pay from the industry shareholders, there is the judgmental public, especially the perception that all artistes do drugs and womanise. I may have my ways of overcoming these challenges but many artistes cannot handle.
What are some of the things you have achieved in your years in the industry?
Besides the several awards I have scooped from northern Uganda awards, I have established a strong connection and network. I pay my tuition and have also bought land, a car and built for my mother a house.
What are your future plans?
Effective next year I want to do as many collabos as possible with both international and local artistes because I think I deserve a bigger challenge than what I have. I want to win a BET award.
What advice would you give your fellow artistes?
I advise them to get out of their comfort zones and aim higher because people have made it in this industry amidst all the challenges and they too can make it.