Radio and Weasel: Living the Good Life
We have been victims of Bebe Cool's bickering. He thought he would take advantage of being famous to throw me in jail for allegedly assaulting him...
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First published: July 7, 2009
You have probably listened to a number of their songs and seen them perform at concerts yet still have not got enough of them. They have been described as contagious, talented, hit makers, Uganda's version of Chaka Demus and Pliers among others.
Bread and Butter
Moze Radio, real names Moses Nakintije and Douglas Mayanja, commonly known as Weasel are members of the Goodlyfe Crew. The duo hit the music charts in 2008, ushering in a music revolution that has taken Ugandans by storm. 26-year old Radio is the crew's R n B crooner whereas 24-year old Weasel brings ragga to life in all their songs.
The three time 2008 Bell Pearl of Africa Music Award winners, famed for chart hitting songs like Zuena, Nakudata, Lwaki Onumya and Nyambura, are now basking in the glory of their newly found fame. Radio and Weasel have left their fans yearning for more, proof that they are a great force to reckon with in the Ugandan music industry.
The members of Goodlyfe Crew met through Weasel's elder brother, Chameleon at Leone Island records. Like they say, the rest is history. They have released over 10 songs in a space of a year and released videos that are receiving massive airplay on television stations in Uganda.
Radio and Weasel took time off their busy schedule to talk to UGPulse.com about their lives and the music world.
Radio and Weasel.
You guys seemed to have hit Ugandans like lightning with your songs. How long have you guys been singing together?
Radio: Well, we started out as solo artists. I joined Leone Island in 2004 where I did back up vocals for Chameleon, together with Weasel and Chagga. I also released a few songs like Jennifer, Dagala and Wololo, which didn't hit much. Later, Weasel and I decided to try our luck by doing songs like Kiruma and Wine up but they didn't do well either. In 2007, we got back into studio and released Nakudata. This song worked magic for us.
Weasel: My music career dates back to high school when I used to sing for my classmates. I later joined my elder brother, Chameleon at Leone Island where I met Radio. I initially did songs like Toyomba, Doreen and Bomboclat with Chameleon We eventually left and formed Goodlyfe Crew.
Bomboclat - Chameleone ft Weasel
Word has it that you left Leone Island on bitter terms with Chameleon. Have you guys cemented your relationship with him?
Radio: We had no personal issues with Chameleon. We left Leone Island because there were so many fishermen yet the boat was too small to cater for us all. We thought it best to leave so we could develop our careers further.
Weasel: We have no problem with Chameleon because he showed us how do a lot of things as in the music industry. We are some of his protégés.
Your songs have received a lot of airplay and topped several chart lists on radio and TV. Did you expect to hit the music industry like this?
Radio: Honestly, we did not expect this to happen so fast. After our first songs kind of flopped, we decided to 'test the waters' again to see how we would fair. We are glad we did because now we have proven that we are really good at what we do.
What is your music style?
Weasel: We combine different types of music genres. I blend ragga, reggae and dancehall whereas Radio does RnB and reggae. The good result of such combinations is evident in our songs-perfect.
You took home three awards in the 2008 PAM Awards. Do you think you deserved them?
Weasel: Winning these awards was like someone had rewarded us for doing a great job. It showed that our efforts had been recognized.
Radio: Definitely. We took home Best New Artiste, Song of the Year for Nakudata and Afro Beat Single for Zuena. It was a great moment for us but funnily enough, we did not even know the process through which we got nominated. So it was a surprise when we won these awards.
Nakudata ft Omulangira Suuna
How many songs have you released as a duo?
Radio: They are many but in 2008, we released Nakudata, Ngamba, Lwaki Onumya, Zuena, Nakutamani, Single and Searching, Bread and Butter followed suit. 2009 saw us release Sitani and Where you are which we did with Blue 3.
Where You Are
Una Unumiza ft Rachel Kay
Have you guys ever considered the thought of going solo?
Weasel: Goodlyfe has never thought of separating. We are more like brothers and things are going well just the way we had planned as a duo.
Radio: The thought of us separating now is scary. It is still too early to spoil the beauty of Goodlyfe crew's music. You know some fans like Moze Radio because of Weasel and others like Weasel because of Moze Radio so breaking up would definitely reduce our fan base.
Have you released an album yet?
Radio: We have released two albums, Nakudata with six songs and Nyambura with about seven songs. We have not officially launched them but they are currently on the market. We held the Nakudata concert last year, which was successful.
Weasel: We are planning a mega 3-album launch on 15th May this year (Interview was carried out in April 2009). We are currently working on our third album which will be released then. Our fans should expect massive fireworks because it will be the official launch of Goodlyfe Crew.
With all the fame and fortune you've got from music, do you think the music industry is moving in the right direction?
Weasel: It has grown tremendously and Ugandan artists have gained recognition, both locally and internationally, something which had been preserved for mostly Nigerians. Musicians of today have taken their music to another level. We get to be played on MTV Base, something previous artists did not achieve. I believe the time is now for Ugandan artists to spread their wings and fly.
Radio: The music industry is competitive now and people are looking for ways to plan your downfall so hard work should prevail if one wants to remain on top of the game.
What do you think about fights among artists?
Weasel: Mine is more of advice to artists who bicker a lot. They should leave the system with a lot of respect. Many a time, already established artists tend to look for ways of sabotaging new artistes whom they see as a threat. The likes of the late Elly Wamala and Philly Lutaaya are still respected up to today because they respected everyone. People like Bebe Cool need to realize this before it is too late. What was small yesterday will be big tomorrow.
Radio: We have been victims of Bebe Cool's bickering. He thought he would take advantage of being famous to throw me in jail for allegedly assaulting him. He even went to the extent of persuading Zain Telecom not to let us perform at the Wyclef Jean show. One thing he should realize is that we cannot compromise our pride for an appearance on stage. He should grow up and lead by example. If he wants to be respected, let him respect others too.
Apart from music, are you guys engaged in any other businesses?
Radio: Music is our business so we invest in it. We are planning to build our own studios where we can nurture more talented people. We have already identified a few people we are currently working with. I believe the investment will be worth it.
Weasel: We are also planning to venture into real estate business. We have already acquired land somewhere and hopefully we shall embark on building houses to let.
Are you guys dating?
Weasel: I am dating a beautiful Chinese lady. That's all I can say.
Radio: I am in a long distance relationship but we communicate a lot. Maybe in a few years, I will think of walking down the aisle because right now, I am so busy. You never know, I may be a Ssalongo (father of twins) in 10 years. I really love children.
What should your fans watch out for this year and the years to come?
Radio: It is going to be fireworks for them. Goodlyfe is here to stay and they should expect more and better songs from us. They should also watch out for a new hit from us called Number One. We have a good feeling about this song so they should keep their ears to the ground.
Weasel: We thank our fans for their support and pray that they stick with us through all the good and bad times.
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First published: July 7, 2009
Olive Eyotaru Yemima is a graduate of Mass Communication. She first worked with Ultimate Media in 2005 as an intern and returned in 2007 as a features writer.
A Ugandan talented creative writer, Eyotaru now writes for both the local and international media and continues to shine in the media every day that passes.