The one thing many people may still remember about Fete De La Musique (World Music Day) in 2014 was a closing performance that merged Maurice Kirya’s soft soul with Joel Sebunjo’s Ethno/Folklore feel.
Of course many people had never seen these sort of collaborations before thus they went on to talk about them,, the mash ups, experiments and the surprises for days.
Last week, for seven days, Alliance Francaise with other partners decided to celebrate music in different locations with different artistes.
Unlike the past few years where celebrations start off early in the streets of Kampala, this time, concerts were organized in smaller venues geared at celebrating different aspects of music like poetry, spoken word, rap, storytelling and instrumentation.
Thus for each day that a concert was organized, be it at the National Theatre, Que Pasa Restaurant or at Alliance Francaise, there was an aspect that stood out most.
On Saturday, at Ecole French School located at the Lugogo Bypass, the climax of the celebrations were held; it was a concert that looked at celebrating all aspects but at the same time throw the spirit of fusion in the mix.
Almost all performers of the night were fusion acts from different genres – the task was them using their songs to create a new sound that they could sell to us as an audience.
The results were Japadhola Neo-Soul act Apio Moro collaborating with Reggae/Folklore fusion artiste Haka Mukiga, Giovanni Kiyingi and Janzi Band’s James Ssewa, Jackie Akello and Mame N’Diak, Break Dance Project with Jora MC and Sylvester and Abramz.
The opening act were the day’s hosts, a children’s choir from the French School that did a number of renditions like Florida’s Good Feeling and Shakira’s Waka Waka among others, they set the stage for Apio and Haka whose fusions helped people enjoy two different genres and languages.
Haka is impressive with his own version of Reggae music done with a touch of Rukiga folklore, through songs like Enzamba, he got the predominantly expetraite audience stomping the ground in that Rukiga signature, but it was the collaboration on Obia with Apio that the two got the attention.
Not the best of performances from the two though it was nice seeing how he had interpreted her song, she would later perform her Japadhola rendition of Jamal’s Ononsonyiwa.
Ssewa and Giovanni were too mesmerizing though the big act of the night could have been the very diverse combo between Akello and Mame N’Diak, he’s a Ugandan based Senegalise World Music artiste while she’s an inspirational folklore and pop act.
Their energetic performance based on themes of love and patriotism was needed to get the audience in high spirits, good thing was them knowing how and when to engage the audience.
The night closed with a lone performance from Navio who took the audience through his most loved songs like Nawulira, Ngalo, Tumunonye and Njogereza among others.