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Azawi: She wanted money, she got a deal

New Kid: Azawi, real name Priscilla Zawedde, is the new kid that was signed by Swangz Avenue last year. The 24-year-old is not new to music and has featured on Eddy Kenzo’s song, Bibawo. Isaac Ssejjombwe caught up with her on her new beginnings.

From Zawie to Azawi, how did you feel when your name was changed after Sarah Zawede claiming rights to it?

Honestly, I was not pleased with the changes but it happened and I moved on. Management decided and I am beginning to love the name because it has some vibe.

Usually, there is tension between artistes in the same record label. What is your relationship with Vinka and Winnie Nwagi since you joined Swangz Avenue?

What people out there should know is that we are very fine with other artistes signed to the label. Vinka and Winnie Nwagi have shown me lots of love. I have been learning so much from them even before I joined. They are very talented and we are not in any kind of competition.

Besides singing, you are also a songwriter. When did you discover that skill?

The first artiste I wrote a song for was Carol Nantongo, although she has never released it but I felt it was such a beautiful song. I then wrote two songs for Nina Roz, which have also not been released, Lydia Jazmine as well, Pia Pound’s Kibela kyo, Delicious, among others. However the first song I wrote and got paid well for it, was Fishing, which Eddy Kenzo bought for another artiste in Big Talent. He gave me Shs500,000 and we continued working together but after 10 Years of Kenzo, I decided to give music a break to concentrate on my studies. However, while at Big Talent I connected well with Producer Kuseim who during school asked me to go check out his ABM Studio. It is there that I wrote Quinamino and he asked me which artiste would sing the song to perfection. I suggested Winnie Nwagi and that is when he told me to send it to Julius Kyazze, who then asked him for my number. He asked if I had more songs and I lied (he doesn’t even know this) so I had a week of sleepless nights within which I wrote three songs. He asked me to pass by Swangz offices and I was so excited, thinking I was being invited to get paid for the songs.

Was that how you got signed?

When I entered the offices, Julius and Benon started asking me so many personal questions and suddenly Julius said: “We feel like you need to sing your own songs. We want to try and work with you”. And all I managed to say was: “Do not get me excited”. They laughed and said if all I wanted was money, they would pay me for the songs.

How did you feel after they offered you that opportunity?

I froze. I could not believe it. I mean, here I was coming with the expectation of getting money and instead got offered much better. Because it was too fast. They told me to go and think about it but in all honesty, if the contract was presented there and then, I would have signed it without reading through. I walked from Swangz offices to Electoral Commission deep in thought because I had always wanted to work with this kind of label, one with a good reputation. So I am forever grateful to God for the opportunity.

Expectations

I see myself going continental. I see myself and Swangz doing music that is going to stay forever. Right now I have an EP coming up with five songs but before that, we will release two songs then an album.

Music journey

I started out as a dancer in the Kika Dance Troupe and while there I met a man called Fred Kiiza who asked me to train children at his NGO. In S.3, he told me to try out singing but I started in the school choir and gained interest in songwriting, co-writing with him. From there, my friend Judith Nansumba started Kama Band, which I became a part of. I learnt a lot from the band; confidence, improving my vocals, acting on stage and other aspects of music and I only left when I got signed to Swangz.

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