In the latest episode of Tusker Malt Conversessions, which premiered on the Tusker Malt YouTube channel on Sunday, February 4, music enthusiasts are treated to an intimate exploration of the Afro-soul maestro, Kenneth Mugabi.
As he takes centre stage, Mugabi effortlessly serenades the audience with an enticing range of his most cherished tracks.
With a medley of his signature tunes; his guitar and his fiddle, he began his setlist with the lovely “Sanyu,” following it up with the emotionally charged “Ebinyuma,” and then “Nkwegomba.”
The artiste weaves through his discography with interludes of his own interesting ‘Conversessions”, culminating with his chart-topping hit, “Naki.”
However, it is the ‘Conversessions’ that make the highlight of his beautiful serenade.
Mugabi takes the opportunity to share the profound stories behind his compositions, emphasising the power of his own personal experiences that led to such musical masterpieces.
The revelation of the inspiration behind “Naki” is particularly captivating. Mugabi talked about how the song came from the context of some of his most embarrassing situations and childhood frustrations, narrating how he channelled feelings of being “unwanted” and “rejected” into the creation of the song.
Beyond the melodies, Mugabi candidly addresses the comparisons drawn between his sound and that of Maurice Kirya. Mugabi acknowledges that at the beginning of his musical journey, he indeed used to perform Kirya’s songs. The turning point came during the Rated Next show, where Kirya who was serving as a judge, encouraged Mugabi to pursue his career. This pivotal advice led to the release of Mugabi’s album, “Kibun’omu,” in 2016, featuring the beloved track “Naki.”
He goes ahead to share the fact that he fully immerses himself into understanding the characters of who he is writing about, declaring that he is a method writer, much like method actors.
“I am not a woman, but I had to first understand how a woman behaves, what is a woman about. I love ladies so much, whenever I write a song I think about them first,” he says.
“I want to be remembered as the person who sold Uganda to Ugandans. In my mind when I’m performing anywhere, the first thing I want is for Ugandans to feel proud to be Ugandans, because I am a musige from Busoga,” he adds.
Mugabi also opens up about his personal life, revealing that he is in a serious long-term relationship with a particular lady he doesn’t name, attributing the successful navigation of the relationship’s challenges to his faith and God’s protection.
“This episode is such a masterpiece. A lot of work was put into it. Mugabi shows what it takes to craft musical gems. His ‘conversession’ has shown us his humility as well as a man who understands the beauty of vulnerability, empathy, and appreciation for life in general. We hope fans savour it over Tusker Malt Lager, a finely crafted beer,” says Roy Tumwizere, Tusker Malt Brand Manager.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Mugabi’s love ballads will serve as the perfect soundtrack for lovers out there who plan to express and celebrate their deepest emotions.
“Kenneth Mugabi’s music resonates greatly with February, the month of love. So, as Valentine’s Day approaches, let the inspirational story and beautiful tunes of Kenneth Mugabi serenade you and your loved ones throughout February,” he adds.
The episode, the fourth in the show’s second season, is currently available on both Tusker Malt and Swangz Avenue YouTube Channels. Other episodes of the Conversessions from other talented Ugandan artistes from Season Two or the inaugural season, are also available on-demand.
As we immerse ourselves in the month of love, Kenneth Mugabi’s enchanting love ballads serve as a harmonious soundtrack to the romantic tapestry of February.