Jamal bounces back with Abakyala balabye

03:47 by Kaggwa Andrew

The first time I met Jamal Wasswa was in the 2000s, he was talking and laughing with then famous artistes Rocky Giant and sweet kid. It was rumored in the club that he too was an artiste but even with those heavy locks and talking to celebrities, he didn’t look the part.
I would later see this dreadlocked guy singing the hook to Rocky Giant’s Mulembe gwa balaasi (Rastafarian era), and still I didn’t pay any attention to him.
By 2008 Jamal was getting a hold of his turf, doing versatile genres of reggae RnB African contemporary and pop, he forced us to listen to him.
“I don’t want to attach a specific genre to my music, am versatile and for me, my voice is key, as long as people can hear it and identify me, am okay”, he says.
Jamal has since released hits like “akagambo, Oba wuwo, Soka osabe and almost everyone’s Abakyala bazira” he went on to release more songs empowering women.
“There are more reasons to sing for the women than the men, they through a lot and the society just give a deaf ear, I feel obliged to say something”, he says passionately.
He also notes that he has got a strong fan base among women though; he notes that even men who truly believe women emancipation love his songs.
The year 2012 was a tricky one for the artiste, not that his mind went blank on lyrics but, on a publication that alleged that the singer had abandoned his mother and now living in a miserable state. For a person who sings for the ladies, the publication was such an image damage.
“These are challenges one meets once in a while but overall, 2012 was still a good year and am not complaining. If only 2013 can be like that and more” he said.
After the storm Jamal made an emotional comeback with his Omusomesa hit, the song got and still gets respectable air play, the video went on to top local music charts.
As the song continues to gain momentum, Jamal has followed it up with yet another women advocacy song, Abakyala balabye. The song talks about different issues women face in life. In an afro pop melody, Jamal addresses issues like sexual harassment, and disrespect of women.
People have gone through these things, I have seen some happen” he says, he also notes that the inspiration for this song was the general public behavior.
Even when he usually sings in Luganda, Jamal is one of Uganda’s most traveling artistes. He has performed on world and African contemporary music, and Reggae festivals in Denmark, Netherlands, German, Sweden, USA and more.
This could explain the huge number of whites who flock Jamal’s shows in Uganda.
Despite doing many advocacy songs, Jamal is not affiliated to any women organization, though he notes he’s been working with the Red Cross on some protects.
“I would be happy if any organization picked interest.” He says.
Jamal’s music sounds so sweet that even when you can’t come to terms with a blurred vision of his dreads, you will appreciate his adorable sensational voice.
This year, he hopes to follow up Abakyala balabye with a couple of songs and eventually a concert.
“I hope to do more musical and live concert, I want something different from the “Abakyala bazira” concert in 2010, and I hope to bring in many of the artistes I perform with abroad.” He says.
Unlike many of the Ugandan artistes, Jamal is not a collaboration prone artiste; you will wait for ages before you find him on someone’s song.    
“Collaborations should be for a reason, right now I can only sing with a person taking me places,” he says. Jamal has since collaborated with Joel Sebujjo an African contemporary artiste and Jah Couxtic, a German Reggae act.
Besides music, Jamal is passionate about football; he plays with Kisugu United and trains everyday with the team. The soft spoken artiste explained to me that Kisugu United is still in the regional. Then, he explained the entire soccer hierarchy of big league and eventually the Fufa or the other league.
“If Kisugu United makes it to the league, I won’t become a professional footballer.” He says with a smile.
From the field to the stage, Jamal is truly a multitalented Ugandan, when you see him play his midfielding role in number seven; you will truly not believe it’s the same guy who belts out tunes like “Lllllove firimu y’amasasi......”

1 comment:

  1. Don´t wanna be a smart ass but if you name the country than it is "Germany" and not "German". Also i think its way better to say "the huge number of foreigners" instead of "the huge number of whites". Last but not least its "Jahcoustix" not "Jah Couxtic". Other than that respect to Jamal. Man a real talent!