Esther Mutoni Pelinda is still a mystery on the Ugandan entertainment scene – some people have indeed heard about her but the majorities are still figuring her out.
Pelinda’s first musical attempt was during her high school days, along with friends, they would save money to record songs in holidays.
“They would rap and I would do the choruses,” she says.
A finalist in the premiere edition of Airtel Trace Star in 2015, Pelinda has been around the music circles than many could believe.
Then, she was in her high school vacation with dreams of making it big in the industry; “That was my first time on a big stage and I was really nervous.”
She made it to the show but would later get evicted, making way for the eventual winner Sandra Ssubi; “I think Sandra had the biggest voice in the competition, everyone in was good but she was hard to beat.”
Currently a student of Development Economics, the twenty year old never gave up, she later auditioned for NTV’s musical drama Studio 256 and The Hostel but was unlucky.
In fact, she says that at that time, she had opted to give up on music and focus on her studies.
“I actually did, I stopped singing and listening to music altogether.”
But thanks to a friend that talked her into doing music after stumbling on some of her Youtube uploads, she managed to get back to writing music again.
Pelinda considers her turning point as the time she took part in Airtel Trace Star, much as she didn’t win, the journey shaped her career.
“During the contest, Qwela Band used to play for us so, after my eviction, Joe Kahiri (Qwela frontman) called me back to do background vocals for the remaining contestants.”
This introduced her to exciting acts and producers like Roy Kasika, Jude Kiracho and Mo Roots among others.
Her debut album is in the works and much as she’s yet to title it, she knows it’s hinged around themes of love, peace and unity.
Africa, one of the singles off tries to compare the continent now and then to remind people how much we’ve lost our identity to the development.
The song is trying to suggest that Africa is ok with the development she has achieved but she doesn’t have to forget who she really is.
“The song was inspired by a conversation I had with our maid, she was telling me about how they were brought up,” she says adding that she noticed that a lot had changed in the way kids are raised these days.
To many, Pelinda made her debut onto the mainstream music scene at Blankets and Wine at the end of April, this was the first time she’s attending the show.
“Of course, I couldn’t believe it when I was asked to perform, at one point I wanted to tell them I wasn’t ready,” she says.
However, after convincing herself that opportunities don’t just show up, she took it and started rehearsing.
Of course the audience needed a lot of time to digest her performance, especially with a fact that many were seeing her perform for the very first time.
But that wasn’t all, she was also attending Blankets and Wine for the very first time thus had no idea of what she was going to expect from the audience.
Good for her, the audience loved it.
Pelinda is one of the artistes that will be gracing this year’s Pearl Rhythm’s annual Stage Coach as one of the trainees; each of the artistes that appear for the project usually record as well as perform on the main festival alongside other renowned acts.