Our One on One with Ugandan Blackman Uncle Rich from Luxembourg
Blackman Uncle Rich.

Our One on One with Ugandan Blackman Uncle Rich from Luxembourg

By Peter Allen Kigonya
more from author >>
First published: June 30, 2008

A Bashment Party (Mujipepete) with Robert Lee

UGPulse: Bashment Party? Love it! Love it! Tell us about the song...
Black Man Uncle Rich: That song is about admiring lovely girls on the beach.

I'm someone who doesn't like to explain lyrics, only because my brain is stuck in transition between French and English in that every time I write anything in English, I try to watch out that it's not written in English French (writing an English phrase in French), if you see what I mean. And it arrives often to people with notions of several different languages.

That song works for me more as an allegory of a real relationship, the reality that takes place in men's minds when they look at those gorgeous roses in bikinis laid on the edge of the sea or swimming pool.

After the absence of almost 10 years away from my mother country, I thought of coming back with something expressing my admiration of all the good qualities and achievements of all people at home that's and how the BASHMENT PARTY inspiration came about.

The shooting of A Bashment Party (Mujipepete)

Where was the video shot? Who shot the video?
The video was shot in two different countries. Since the song was intended for my home people, I decided most of the shooting be done in Uganda at Lido beach Entebbe and the rest in Britain. All the Uganda shooting was conducted by Aaron Kim Elton and Steve Jean production... then the UK part by Henry SAUNDERS.

I sense a Suudi Lukwago connection? Any truth in that? Or has the quality of this genre generally leaped for Ugandan music.
No, Suudi isn't in, I haven't linked up with him yet but if I ever come across him on my way, for sure I'll be eager to work with him since I'm someone who loves linking up with lots of different people to acquire and experience new different ideas and knowledge.

Black Man Uncle Rich
Black Man Uncle Rich.

As you can imagine, Uganda is on the run heading to another level (international standards if you would like). The editing and finalizing of that video was done by FENON ENTERTAINMENT situated in Kampala industrial area owned by Steve Jean.

What is Mujipepete?
Mujipepete is a word used in both Luganda and Swahili meaning "treat your bodies right as you possibly can" or make them look good (For instance by using cosmetic, skin lotions, manicure etc).

Robert Lee
Robert Lee.

Talk about another great hit? Balungi Nyo also featuring Robert Lee? Who is Robert Lee?
I recorded that one strictly for the Ugandan girls and its video shooting will take place in Uganda. All I talk about in that song is the reality on the ground back home in the motherland today. Women are gorgeous, lively and striking.

Robert Lee is based UK but Jamaican by origin. I linked up with him from the recording studio called SUPERTONIC RECORDS found in Brixton, London. By then I was recording Girls Drive Me Crazy when he appeared in the studio. The studio sound engineer introduced us to each another and when I heard his voice on one of his demo songs, I didn't hesitate even a single minute to ask if I could engage him to work in some of my tracks. He sounded positive and that's how it all started between us.

If you'd like to know more about him check him out on myspace at www.myspace.com/robertreggaelee.

Sure thing... Hopefully we can have him on UGPulse soon... especially now that UGPulse Entertainment will soon be interviewing more non-Ugandan artists.

Balungi Nyo (Girls you turn me on)

What other songs are in the works?.
I'm working on a song entitled Abazadde Basaana Kirabo ki dedicated to my parents and all parents in general for which the video will be shot in UK and both will be released at the end of this year.

In it I talk about the decision, courage, determination, responsibilities taken by parents and the struggle they went through after putting me into existence and looking after me until I was able to live by myself. I further illustrate my appreciation and ask listeners to help tell me what I should reward them for what they've done and are still doing for me.

Black Man Uncle Rich
Black Man Uncle Rich.

I've got plenty of songs ready for releasing... Can't talk about them one by one but they all sound interesting quite different from those of my fellow Ugandan artists.

Some of these songs are available on iTunes, just have to search for Bm Uncle Rich.

Is that your formula? Great hits with West Indian artists? What prompted this new trend of Ugandan artists getting authentic West Indian artists on their tracks rather than having a go at their accents? First of all do you agree that this is a growing trend?
I totally agree with you when you say that it's a growing trend. To me, I think it's provoked by the admiration we have when we hear them speaking with there cool attractive accent.

During my teenage, I grew up listening to reggae music since one of my elder brothers was a great fan of King Yellowman, Ninja man Bob Marley etc. Then came Chaka Demus and the Pliers. Oh Jesus! How I loved there vocal combination. They inspired me to compose songs that necessitate more than one individual.

Is that your formula? Great hits with West Indian artists?
Let me put it this way, I do this style of music with them simply because they grow up in it, it's part of there culture... To me, they understand it better than any body else.

My Country - Henry Tigan ft Marlon Asher

2007 PAM Award Best New Artist Henry Tigan
is know for using Carribean artists on his tracks.

With this growing use of West Indian artists? What do you think it spell for the future of Uganda and East African artists such as Peter Miles, Bebe Cool and East African Bashment Crew? Isn't this a real threat to their positions in the market? Umm... even yourself individually in the long run to tell you the truth? I mean... we now have the real thing. How should Dance Hall artists maintain their status in the market with this growing infiltration?
Oh man, this is a good one. To be frank with you, it predicts a tuff prospect for all of us (East African artists) where by we're obliged to produce records that suite the standards similar or even enhanced than those of the West Indian artists if we're to infiltrate into the international market and each time I think about it, I wonder if we can sustain that pressure?

I personally, once I realized the heavy heat that lays ahead in this music category, the first decision I made was to do the Dancehall style in my native language and left the English jargon to there owners (Patois). Secondly, I opened up to learning some other styles too in that I can diverge from one style to another. Sometimes even to diffuse two or more styles and come up with appealing results.

Robert Lee with Black Man Uncle Rich
Robert Lee with Black Man Uncle Rich.

Let us talk about you for a minute... Now what is a Ugandan doing in Luxemburg?

As any other person who decides to depart his beloved family, friends, mother land to shelter in a foreign country for some time. My destination wasn't that easy in terms of communication and culture wise.

Tell us about your roots in Uganda.
It's where I was born (New Mulago Hospital). I grew up in Old Mulago, Nsooba - Kyebaanda, Bukanaga - Mityana. I went to schools; St Francis primary, Namukozi primary, Kololo High senior secondary and Pan World Airways Tours and Travel Agency training institute.

What company is behind your music? Are you THE production team?
Unfortunately I haven't found company to assist me advance my projects until now. Nonetheless I'm determined to do so by using my own means till perhaps someday someone will come along to give me a hand.

How did this all begin? How has getting a name in the industry been?
When I was a kid my father used to sing in a church choir... in the early 90's. I remember hearing him saying "It's unfortunate that non of my children has taken my singing aptitude."

By then I didn't mind or take it seriously until the mid 90's when that above statement came back in my minds and started working my brains for almost a month. That's how it all started.

Getting the name in the industry hasn't been easy because after my arrival in Luxembourg in 1998, I had to restart the whole lot from the letter A... like a new born baby... since French, Germany and Luxembourg languages and cultures were thoroughly new to me. But with time I got integrated into the system and things started moving on effortlessly.

What successes have you had in the industry so far?
The sound track of one of my very first recordings was used in a film called Club des Chômeurs (Unemployment club), a film made in Luxembourg. The song is Tchiga um pouco mas perto (come a little bit closer) on the album Tchiga mas perto.

I won the competitions which were organized by one of the NGOs and the Luxembourg Ministry of Health. They were intended to alert the youths against AIDS (song title; Truth in Life on the album Song 4 Life). I was third on the second compilation of More Songs 4 Life album competitions and the songs were used in the film House of Boys shot in France, Netherlands and Luxembourg etc.

Truth in Life by Black Man Uncle Rich

What should we be looking out for next from Blackman Uncle Rich?
Hah! Lots of surprises. Educative Luganda tunes sometimes with a mixture of some other languages. I call it "Kadongo kamu in a brand new fashion". Note the way... rather style... in which I'm doing them is of its own kind... different from that of my fellow Ugandan artists.

For those who love to party and have fun on commercial tunes, Bashment Party, Girls Drive Me Crazy and Girls Turn Me On are just introducing me.

Black Man Uncle Rich
Black Man Uncle Rich.

More on Blackman Uncle Rich

Blackman Uncle Rich (MusicUganda.com)
Blackman Uncle Rich (myspace)
By Peter Allen Kigonya
more from author >>
First published: June 30, 2008
Peter Allen Kigonya is the founder of UGPulse.com and Freefufu.com. He can be reached at letters@ugpulse.com.

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