Ugandans are ready for live music

01:30 by Kaggwa Andrew
The spark about world music day last year was the street performances that started at the Watoto Church Roundabout to the National Theater.
A kind of collective performance that went on building an audience from the first set of people that watched the opening cast of the likes of Bataka Squad, Hakim Kiwanuka, Sandy Soul, Undercover Brothers and Giovanni Kiyingi among others.
On Saturday, the festivities were on again, this time without the street performances but a wonderful cast of artistes like Ruyonga, Jemimah Sanyu, Makadem and Sandy Soul/Undercover Brothers.
Supported by the Bayimba Foundation and Alliance Francaise, the day was looking at inviting the public to celebrate genres of music that have not gotten a fair share of media – the sort of performances aimed at introducing Ugandans to a new sound.
What stood out though was the way Ugandans have started appreciating music as a global cultureless language; from the first performers of the night, The Undercover Brothers and Sandy Soul to RFI waard winner Makadem, it was clear that people have learn to listen to music than the language it is performed in.

Most of these performers were either singing in English or other indigenous languages in genres like folk, acoustic and jazz but people kept dancing.
“I think Ugandans are at that place where they are starting to experiment with different music genres,” says Bass guitarist Earnest Otim.
He notes that with the rise of demand for live band performances even from mainstream artistes, the industry has started taking another route and it could easily explain why people were dancing regardless of the language being used.
This didn’t differ very much from what Bebe Cool said was his reason to concentrate on live performances; “you can make as much money with bubble gum music but at the end of the day live and vocalists win.”
To defend his argument, Bebe Cool noted that bubble gum music is easily forgotten when a new song is released unlike the live one which can be played from year to year.
One of Clare Muhindo, a reveler at the world music day confessed she was attending for the first time though was impressed by the immense talent Uganda has, she had seen Daniel Okiror perform for the first time, had no idea of what he was saying but was sure she enjoyed every bit of him on stage.
Ruyonga enjoyed himself on stage though it was Jemimah Sanyu that stole the show; if all local artistes were using just half of the energy that girl uses on stage, the live music scene would be way ahead by now.
World music day was originally a French celebration of music that dates back in 1984, the practice has though been adopted by many other countries that by last year, the day was at least celebrated in more than 300 cities worldwide.


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