At this time every year, the DJ’s duo of Slick Stuart and Roja are getting ready for their annual Mixtape Party concert. But as you may know, it’s not happening this year because… well 2020.
With shows shelved for as long as the pandemic gets a vaccine, different entertainers have chosen not to console themselves but deliver something for their audiences – for Slick Stuart and Roja, according to their manager Nisha Bridgette, they decided to release an album.
“Because we are not doing a Mixtape Party this year, we decided to release the album during Covid. We basically wanted to have an ongoing activity as we wait for this whole situation to end,” she says.
Released last week on different streaming platforms, the album is a compilation of songs they have collaborated with different producers and artists through the years.
The 20-track album is a journey of the duo’s venture into the recording industry with throwbacks such as Eva alongside Ykee Benda to Pon Mi with Beenie Gunter and of course Very Well with King Saha. But of course, they included some fresh songs the audience may not know such as Kyogamba, Kigwa Leero and More of This featuring Lilian Mbabazi, Jose Chameleone and Rema respectively.
Titled Very Wello, the album chooses the collaboration with King Saha as the title track. Rogers Kitaka Nsubuga alias Roja says Very Wello was one of the biggest songs of 2018 that they found it fitting to represent the entire collection.
“The song was the gateway that opened things up in 2018, setting the ball rolling,” he says.
It was after the song’s release that they started toying with the idea of putting together an album that has come to fruition at a time when people are not working, but besides that, “it is a catchy title.”
The idea of DJs releasing music is not new to the Ugandan music industry, in the past, DJ Shiru collaborated with a number of artistes to create music, while on other markets, the famous Black Coffee from South Africa and DJ Khaled.
In many of such cases, the DJ is involved in the conceptualizing of the song, writing and in most cases, the production which legally makes him/her an artist and owner of the song.
In other markets, these DJs benefit mostly from copyright royalties and online streaming, in Uganda’s case where none of the two is highly upheld, it is hard to know how DJs benefit from the songs they own.
Stuart Kavuma, the other part of the duo says they have been conceiving and creating this body of work for the past two years, finding ways of making each song different.
“We have poured our hearts into these sounds and collaborated with some amazing and incredible producers, vocalists and writers.”
Slick Stuart and Roja started out as friends in 2014 and to impact the industry, they started performing as a duoand later staged their first concert at Venom, with every edition of their Mixtape Party, they are cementing not only their names as a force but boosted the place of deejays as entertainers.