Strength in Numbers: He was among the first artistes to organize an online show…and for Navio, real name Daniel Kigozi, it was more than just a show but rather the launch of his new album Strength in Numbers. Lawrence Ogwal caught up with the rapper about the new album.
1.You have been missing in action for quite a bit, where had you disappeared to?
I think being the talk of town for 20 years straight would have been pushing it too long. Others must shine as well. I have dedicated myself to music for long, so I chose to give myself a six-month break. People always noticed the gap because I spent the second half of last year touring with an American act, which I think is not amazing for my Ugandan fans.
2.What plans did you have before the lockdown?
To throw an amazing concert. Artistes here always wait for new music to perform. I wanted to change that. The Africa tour and EU tour was already booked, plus I was lined up for three festivals in North America, so this whole thing was a big blow to me and required time to plan.
However, I have managed to enjoy family time; walking and playing with the babies has been a pleasure.
3.You recently dropped your Strength in Numbers album with an online show. Tell us about that?
The album is a big project and it features Vanessa Mdee, Burna Boy, Laylizzy, Joh Makini, Khaligraph, Mith, Flex, Daddy Andre and many more artistes. It is a project about unity, hence the name “Strength in Numbers”. Getting to work with different artistes is always a vibe that you cannot force. When the student is ready, the master will always appear and maybe it was because of the fact that I only work with my homies. All I can say is the album should be another classic to add to the legacy.
4.You have dominated your kind of Hiphop in Uganda for some time. How come we do not see new players?
My kind is quality. No rapper in any other African country has had number 1 songs on radio every year for 20 years running. We are unique. But about no new players, maybe you are talking about another Uganda because seven of the top 10 songs in Uganda the past years are from rappers. I can mention Navio, Da Agent, Big Trill, Feffe Busi and Gravity Omutujju, among others.
5.We know Bobi Wine as your Day One. Do you support him giving up part of his career for politics?
I can remember pushing Bobi to do it and to use his platform for more. One real conversation with him taught me we all have a lot more to offer than what our brands show.
My mother was my first fan. When we were broke, nobody thought the widow and the school reject could do much. We took over Uganda at the same time, through hard work and being dynamic. Many people say we were always rich. Why would I correct them and start crying around? I just let go and focused on the now.