Home / Interviews / “East Africa can stand up to Nigerians” – Octopizzo
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“East Africa can stand up to Nigerians” – Octopizzo

On his way to Kampala, many of his fans in Kenya kept their ears on the ground to pick what their boy would tell the media.
He was one of the performers at the just concluded We Love YoUganda Festival that took place on Saturday.
And while talking to The Observer after his energetic performance, the rapper went through a number of issues that involved African music, Kenya and charity.
He noted that performing at We Love YoUganda was a big deal for him since he believed in the cause they are pushing for – creating positive change by providing safe Water for all people. In fact, in the line of positive change, Octopizzo is a youth ambassador for UNHCR and last year launched the Octopizzo foundation whose mission is to support young people who exist on the margins of the society.
“The foundation aims to nature young people in the areas of sports, theater, music and lots of other fields,” he said.

However while talking about music, he noted that he loves what Ugandan artistes are doing; “unlike Kenya that lacks an identity, Ugandan artistes have something that their audience easily relates with.”
He adds that in Kenya, almost everyone is doing what interests them; “I can do rock or Jazz, we don’t have that sound you can call Kenyan” though, he also notes that much as a common sound is easily loved by the local audience, it may also be the problem that has hindered Ugandans from crossing borders.
Much as this was his first performance in Kampala, the artiste who like his co festival headliner Bobi Wine hails from the slums of Kibera noted that he was already in talks to work with different Ugandan artistes; “I have a song with Lillian Mbabazi, Something for you, and I’ve already worked with Sheena also an exciting upcoming Ugandan act.”
In fact, he wants to take Sheena under his stewardship to see her become a big East African act sometime.
Last month, Octopizzo celebrated making eight years in the Kenyan music industry and is mostly looking at crossover success for the next eight years and building a legacy; “When you look at the commercial music scene in Kenya, people produce music that rots in months, I want to make music that won’t fade.”
On whether East African music’s existence is threatened by the popularity of the Nigerian sound which is being sampled by many artistes, he notes that it won’t be easy for Nigerians to wipe the East African region clean; “Right now their only advantage is the clean production that obviously beats ours,” he says adding, “If Bobi Wine, Bebe Cool and Chameleone can package their music for a bigger market, we can send Nigerians back home.”
Octopizzo, is quite known for making blunt statements; earlier this year, he called Kenyan hip hop dead that people always have to wait for him to drop something in order to counter attack, though all this was happening almost a month after belittling Kenya’s Bingwa Music Awards for giving the Come Back of the Year Award.
He noted that he has not been out of music and has not stopped touring and releasing new material thus, he’s not making a comeback when he has been around, and instead, he suggested the award should have correctly gone to Wahu.

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