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Sqoop – Get Uganda entertainment news, celebrity gossip, videos and photosSqoop – Get Uganda entertainment news, celebrity gossip, videos and photos

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And the 2022 SQoop Award goes to…

2022 post-Covid-19: This is the year that Uganda’s entertainment industry was opened up after two years of lockdown. A lot has happened, Ugandans lost their industry to Nigerians at one point, then regained it. But that aside, it is this time of the year that we get to reward the big boys/girls of the year with the annual sQoop awards. As always Isaac Ssejjombwe and Andrew Kaggwa present the best of the year.

Artiste of the Year

There was debate on the SQoop desk as to who really deserves this award. We had a number of good music and concerts this year from different artistes, which made this a bit tricky. So we made a decision based on data and popular vote within SQoop circles.

Mudra di Viral had a good year.
PHOTO/COURTESY

Based on data from website, SongBoost, the artiste of the year award goes to Sheebah, whose songs Bailamos, Nkwata Bulungi, Ayi with Mudra and Muwomya alongside King Saha received good airplay as well as numerous views on YouTube. After her separation from longterm manager Jeff Kiwa, Sheebah also proved her resilience, managing to stage two successful concerts in the same venue for two consecutive days.

By popular vote, the name that got most mentions was Mudra di Viral. After his breakthrough with Muyayu, this young artiste has been consistent musically, and this year he gave us Balo Balo, a club banger that made video of the year in these awards and also had a successful collaboration with Sheebah, Ayi.

Other names that came up in this category were Azawi, Fik Fameica, Eddy Kenzo, Alien Skin, Spice Diana, B2C and Winnie Nwagi.

Male artiste – Grenade and Mudra

One of those categories that gave us a headache and we are sure is going to cause a lot of debate. Yes, female artistes have outdone themselves this year but we cannot take for granted the tremendous works of male artistes, including Fik Fameica, who against all odds filled up Africana People’s Space in his second concert. Ykee Benda with songs Nkufeelinga and Teacher alongside Fik Fameica that have topped charts and Eddy Kenzo for his Grammy nomination. However, for the first time, this category after all factors remaining constant has had two artistes in a tie. Mudra and Grenade have had a tremendous year. Both their singles Balo Balo and Babandana as well as their collaborations Ayi and Picha have appeared among the top 20 charts in different countdowns on several radio stations.

Female Artiste of the Year – Sheebah Karungi

2022 belongs to the ladies and we should give it up to female artistes such as Winnie Nwagi, Spice Diana, Azawi, Sheebah and Carol Nantongo, among others. It is the first time that local female artistes have controlled the narrative for all the good reasons.

Sheebah, who was holding her debut concert at Kampala Serena Hotel, went above and beyond. PHOTO/MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI

Winnie Nwagi sells out at the Cricket Oval, Pinky is the new hotshot, Carol Nantogo, Azawi and Sheebah are out there making a million views for fun. Plus, Sheebah and Spice Diana are finally showing each other love. Sheebah has, however, outperformed all of them. Unlike the rest, she has been the most consistent artiste throughout the year with three of her songs (Ayi, Nkwata Bulungi and Kansalewo) making it to the top 20 songs of the year’s most played songs on radio via SongBoost data.

Best Group or duo – B2C

If there is one thing that makes B2C standout, it is their consistency. They have a strategy of releasing a song at the beginning of every year that people rhyme to and then out another towards the end of the year just when the first one is phasing out. They released Gwe Weka at the beginning of this year and then Obulungi Bunuma. Both songs are still doing quite well. It was also this year that they had a successful concert at Freedom City on the same day that Juliana also had hers at Serena. We had considered Kataleya and Kandle, Hatim and Dookie as well as Kent and Flosso in this category.

Breakthrough Artiste – Kataleya and Kandle

Like the previous year, 2022 has not been exceptional in giving us newcomers and like previous years, they have not disappointed. Ronald Alimpa blessed us with songs such as Lusuku lwa Cement and Mazzi ga Bore that made him a household name across the country. Fenon Records gave us Vamos, whose Konkona song was a fresh vibe to party goers before he concluded the year with Ayaka. Pinky got signed and was also dropped by Team No sleep management this year but was on top with Picha, Tukimala and Superstar, Joshua Baraka is the less famous among these but he has been able to stamp his feet with his Watershed EP.

Kateleya and Kandle had their breakthrough this year.

The outstanding new artiste has, however been Kataleya and Kandle. The duo has given us songs such as Do Me, Miwula, Nkunonya and Njagala Money. All these songs have had a good reception.   

Collaboration of the Year – Picha

Ayi united Mudra and Sheebah, while Hip hop married dancehall on Ruyonga, Wonder Jr and Zex Bilangilangi’s Parte Yaani, Teacher and Majje were amazing but expected.

But two rising stars took airwaves by storm, Rahma Pinky and Grenade Official, thanks to Picha.

Do we know what the song means? No, but it is a fact that according to data by SongBoost, an application that monitors airplay, Picha was the most played Ugandan song for 10 consecutive weeks across 105 radio stations.

Song of the Year – Forever

There is more that goes into declaring a song, the top of them all for a full year. The date of release, for instance, it must be a song that came out between November of the past year and October 30 of the following year.

For this category, the song’s reach, longevity, production and message,

Time duration, story line, production and message.

Jose Chameleone

Chameleone delivered a passionate message to a lover that cut deep. Forever, for many, is more than a song but therapy. Other contenders were Zakayo, Malaika, Ayi, Oliwa, Bamututte and Picha.

Video of the Year – Balo Balo

If there is one thing Ugandans on YouTube have managed to achieve, it is pushing our loved videos at least past a million views. All our nominated videos; Bamututte, Majje, Siri Regular, Kabisi Kandagala, Kansalewo and Balo Balo have more than 10 million views together.

Most of the videos have themes of a man or woman pleading for love from the others thus, their storyboarding seemed a little predictable. Though it is a good thing it existed.

Then there is Balo Balo, it is not about a crying lover, in fact, it is hard making out what the song is about. It is simply a happy song about having fun. Directed by Sasha Vybes, the video takes a format that was introduced to us by Jamaicans and later picked up and perfected by hip hop and pop in America – a dance party in the streets.

Mudra’s video takes it back to the ghettos and the directors are intentional about making it look spontaneous and abrupt. The choreography, makeup and costuming fit the location and in many ways represent as many characters you may find in such a place. Balo Balo is not necessarily a Ugandan video that is out of the box, it simply knows how to stand out within the box.

Producer of the Year – Yaled

Over the years, Nessim had mastered the art of being versatile. A producer who always had a hit out of the bag. Unfortunately, these awards consider more than hits to choose a winner. The relevance, production values and shelf life. How important are these songs past six months?

Yaled has given us a number of songs such as many producers he is nominated alongside such as Nessim, Bomba, T.O.N and D Mario. What makes him stand out, however, are two songs he worked on at the end of 2021. Forever and Kabisi Kandagala, have not only been some of the most important ones in 2022, they are versatile, and, yeah, Forever reminds us of Chameleone in 2002 without sounding outdated.

Album of the Year – People of the Land

It is a year that had a number of album releases with only a few standing out. Our initial list had more than eight albums and EPs but zeroed down to Vibes Out of The East (VOTE) by Navio, The One by Lillian Mbabazi, The Road to Kirya by Maurice Kirya and People of The Land by Kenneth Mugabi.

Kenneth Mugabi gets a nod for Album of the Year.

These albums stood out for both risks they took and how they used creativity to push the envelope. They pushed themes of immigration, environment conservation and celebrated the past without being boring. After a long deliberation and hours of listening, comparing notes, Uganda’s 2022 album of the year is Kenneth Mugabi’s People of the Land. A complete package that makes you happy, makes you reflect about youth and in the same vein, it is a love soundtrack.

Inspiration Song of the Year – Majje

Most of the times, people think that an inspirational song should be one about Jesus. That is wrong. An inspirational song should inspire the listener into believing it is not yet over.

At a time when almost all Ugandan music is talking about a party, a woman, man or sex, this category still celebrates the fact that art is meant to communicate and inspire.

Azawi’s maiden concert was proof Ugandans can support local artistes if they give them the good music. PHOTO/EDGAR R BATTE.

Our nominees this year, Muvubuka by Kenneth Mugabi talked to a youth of today and the challenges he goes through, Katonda Wabanaku shows a listener that many successful people have been where the listener is, Guno Omwaka re-energises one, especially at the beginning of the year.

And Majje, an anthem for hustlers, such as Katonda Wabanaku, Azawi and Fik use their verses to show us it has been a journey and thus no one should be giving up.

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