It is easy for many Ugandans not to know Evon. She once hit the society pages in 2004. Then, she had represented Uganda at M-Net Project Fame as Yvonne Nabeta, but she did not last on the show. After releasing a single that made rounds on Sanyu FM’s then East African countdown, Evon later left the country and would occasionally return to record with mostly rappers such as Yung Nick, Papito, MSB and PL@Y. Rebranding to Evon, she switched from pop to Afro-pop fusion and released songs such as Road to Jinja, Who, Bye Bye Baby, This is Me and probably her biggest, Love Efudde.
In 2014, she released Lullabies For a Lion, her debut album while this year, it was the love for music from the tropics that took centre stage as she put together New Me Now. Last week, at the Design Hub, Evon courtesy of her management, Fezah, held a listening party for her new album.
On the 10-track album, we see the vocalist doing what she does best — fuse and marry music genres. New Me Now is fronted as a reggae album, but beyond the groove, it is a compilation that is layered in as many things that have influenced Evon.
The album gets much of its vibe from Ska, a music genre said to have birthed other genres, including reggae. Because of this influence, she gives you an album where you manage to listen to her articulately — the album for most of the times is in between ska and reggae. With themes of love and self-discovery, New Me Now’s content will rarely strike you as a typical album from the tropics, yet the production that always did its best to appreciate her soul and blues background always feel engaging.
Kampala, the opening song talks about the simple things of being a Ugandan; taking someone around, experiencing the traffic, but Allergic to Bad News reminds you of the connection Evon has with jazz and soul yet remains attached to the tropics. But it is Steps that many at the listening party chose as their best song. Other songs on the album include Let Life, Pot of Gold, Poor Man’s Shoes and Love is Such a Beautiful Word.
It is not an album you expect many local radios to rock, though, but since the world is a village today, she will indeed win a couple of fans because it is ear-friendly.