Absolute Tonny, whose popular songs are Oli Wange and Entuuko, is a signed artiste at Caguama records in US. He has performed at the Jazz Safari, and festivals in Rwanda, US, Japan and Zanzibar. He is a music teacher at C&S Music School in Bugolobi, Kampala.
Who are you?
My name is Tonny Musaazi, aka Absolute Tonny. I am a Ugandan jazz artiste who plays the trumpet.
When did you hit the music scene?
In 2017, with my seven-track debut album Oli Wange with songs including The small house, Killing me softly, Addiction, Akaalo kano, Black trumpet, Out of me, and Coffee in the night.
Do you have any other albums?
The Tindiga (Town trek) EP with six songs followed in 2021: Ekiibo , Entuuko, Nkujukila, Olujulilo, Sukali, and the title track Tindiga.
My latest album Do Me Good has six tracks: Do Me Good, Public Bath, Blue Moon, Back Orpheus, Equinox, and Didi Dada. It merges the sounds of swing, blues, funk with African rhythms, especially bakisimba from Uganda.
How was Do Me Good received by the public?
The album got a good reception by the jazz fanatics as I sold 150 hard copies each at Shs30,000 and I am still getting royalties from my online music platforms. So, I should state that this specific album has worked to my expectations.
Why does Luganda feature a lot in your music?
This is somehow a hard question. Luganda surfaces more due to my roots and I would love to feature other Ugandan languages and styles in my upcoming albums, because I am on a journey to create or forge Ugandan jazz sounds.
How was your album Tindiga (Town Trek) received by the public?
I recorded that album during the Covid-19 lockdown and released it on February 12, 2021. It had a good reception as people were at home and needed music. The album was published digitally by the Caguama Records and the numbers on music streaming are still promising.
What attracted you to music?
My journey can be traced back in my primary school when I joined our school brass band. I did not know then that music could be a source of income. I just loved making sound out of those metallic brass instruments.
And, why is music important to you?
Music is my calling. I treasure music because it offers a win-win situation. For example, when I play the trumpet I enjoy and people enjoy the music. In return I get paid, which is very rare in other professions to be happy and make people happy and at the same earn money.
How would you describe the type of music you play?
Fusion jazz which merges African styles with swing and new age contemporary jazz. Jazz involves playing with freedom and more so taking challenge solo or playing on top of chord progressions or even without.
Jazz is all about breaking music rules but only when the player knows those rules to make music and to make the listeners reflect while listening to this kind of music. To one who has just been introduced to jazz for the first time it is the music with instrumentals with no words or few words.
What message does your music convey?
Love and merging of cultures and their styles so as to forge its way into globalisation. This means my music is breaking borders.
Why did you settle for the trumpet?
Because I believe it is the best instrument with a sound better than other instruments. Even then, it was the first instrument I touched when I was 11 years old.
How has Covid-19 affected you as an artiste? Covid-19 opened my creativity. During the lockdown I composed and produced my latest album Tindiga. I am earning royalties from my albums. However, in terms of performing Covid-19 is still retarding a lot of business and a few places which preferred this kind of music are still recovering and cannot afford to hire the musicians.
Absolute Tonny, was born on August 18, 1994 at Nsambya Hospital. He attended St Andrew Primary School in Mutundwe then St George High School Kabuusu. He holds a BA in Economics from Kyambogo University. He is pursuing a Bachelor of International Relations and Diplomatic Studies.