Top ten local albums of 2015

07:20 by Kaggwa Andrew
As you may know by now, this year's edition of the HiPipo Awards is on this weekend, to get you in the mood, from the cluster of albums like Go Mama by Bebe Cool, Power by Navio, Sounds of Ali by Naira Ali, Mwooyo by Maurice Kirya, something by one Allan Scoop and many others, Tsup Ug counts down the Top music albums that influenced music as an art and also made us dance in 2015.

10.       St. NellySade - Omulondo 
 

 Stories of Elevation (Omulondo N’engero) was a very diverse hiphop album. Yes, it wasn’t diverse as per genres but diverse as per topics tackled. The album is true to the story telling culture that hip hop is synonymous with yet it’s not so couth for that uninterested soul. Songs like Nina Plan, Nonyereza Nyo and Love Story will definitely get you nodding. Fovorites: Stories of Elevation (Intro), Tutandise, Suicide Note, Amaziga ga Namuddu and Nva Ntinda.

The album has appearances by Ruyonga, The Mith, Agee, Mulekwa and Moth among others.

9.    Bebe Cool – Go Mama

Now this was the most ambitious project of 2015, it’s alleged that he started working on the piece way back in 2013. Go Mama was an instrumental thematic album, not much of a threaded story.  Bebe Cool gets to sing about children on the streets, freedom fighters, unity, love and of course boasting about being the ultimate best. This album separates Bebe Cool from his click of hit makers, it’s a collection of good songs rather than hits and each and every track on it is a breath of hard work, ambition and determination. The most popular song by far is Love you Every day, though the best song could actually be Freedom or Make the World Dance.

8.    Lillian Mbabazi – Lillian Mbabazi

Guess many people didn’t really know the album even exists, Mbabazi has been releasing singles most of the times. Yeah, you can’t really term this as a thematic album, in fact, it’s what you can easily laugh off as a mix tape, but in anyway, she’s amazing as always.


7.    Naava Grey – Naave Grey the Album

What can’t we say about Naava Grey’s music, she’s full of surprises and so is her 2015 self-titled album that takes on a journey. She messes with us with many of her songs we already know and still surprises with tracks like Sokalami.


6.    Solome – The Song Love

If Sandra Suubi had released an album in 2015, they could have to fiercely compete. Literally the two best vocalists 2015 revealed to us. Solome’s  Nzani was a master piece and so was the album, on the release day, many people had not listened to almost 80% 0r even 99% of the catalogue but managed to enjoy the show. It’s a well packaged gospel album and in anyway, it’s what we call landing with a bang.


5.    Maurice Kirya - Mwooyo

This may actually go down as Uganda’s most personal and emotional album ever released, Kirya sang from the heart. When you looked at the art work, it was a journey – one where he had to fight his fantacies and eventually finding himself. This album addresses a number of things we’ve heard about the artist; they said he plays girls and he seems to talk about it on Nkooye and yes, we all know about his stint with a famous pastor’s daughter, the one the father thought was ‘Too Good for him’. But the most innocent and sincere song is Mama We Made It, it’s a story that many relate to; thinking about a fact that this album was released only months before the artist actually lost his mother is heart breaking enough, but in any way, Mwooyo  was one of the best told music stories of 2015 of course not anywhere near his Misuubawa but still good.

4.    Pearl Rhythm Festival – Stage Coach II

This could be the briefest compilation this year, twenty one minutes and that’s it. It’s the second season of Pearl Rhythm’s Stage Coach featuring acts like Haka Mukiga, Ann Nassanga alias Afrie, J Wonder, Lynn Aineomugisha and renowned ones like Suzan Kerunen, Saava Karim and Irene Ntale. Aineomugisha is definitely a surprise package with her Circles, a punk rock Runyakitara song but Haka may have carried the day with his Omuti.


3.    Joe Kahirimbanyi – Kahiri

Another brief compilation, it’s the debut of Qwela Band’s Joe kahirimbanyi as a solo act. Kahiri is quite out of the formerly dreadlocked artist’s normal, I guess he got to do a couple of things he couldn’t have done with the band. For instance, he gets to test his linguistic abilities by trying out different languages like Japadhola, Runyakitara, English and at times broken Luganda. It’s that album that starts and ends in no time, yeah, it’s that short. With guests like the legendary Moses Matovu, vocalist and story teller Kenneth Mugabi and Omuwanvuwanvu among others, this limited edition is one to die for and oh, Sikyagenda stands out though the entire CD is worth the replays.


2.    Charmant Mushaga - Africa Dream Again

 Africa Dream Again album describes Charmant’s dream of helping African children, who bear a lot of suffering and pain. As you could imagine, it’s a heavily instrumental album with Charmant’s guitar taking center stage – and he’s indeed a maestro, his work on Talemwa alongside Hawa is unbelievable. In a nutshell, this album stands out to show us that there’s more to guitarists than backing up vocalists or anyone with a microphone.



So the number one album of the year according to Tsup Ug, and it's not even nominated for HiPipo Awards but has has already gone places and been a subject of creative collaborations in and outside Uganda....


1.    Joel Sebunjo – I Speak Luganda

OK, was there a reason to hate on this album, the mpumi, nakassa and ngalabis meeting Jazz and spontaneously making us dance!
This was a crossover album, that one that was in between mainstream and sophiscation. Joel Sebunjo sang in Luganda without that at times annoying Mading. With songs like Nakato, Bulungi, Lusejera and Semusajja among others, the album is very much on point. And of course, it got the writer replaying it until his life was threatened.


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