Michael ‘Ross’ Kakooza has not taken the music scene by storm since he released ‘Follow’ back in 2013.
In fact, it was thought that he had successfully forged a comeback but that was almost all; before he was programmed to headline the Uganda Waragi themed Aka Dope earlier this month, many had not heard from the dancer cum singer.
For a show that has in the past thrived on introducing audiences to acts they’ve not been exposed to, having a headliner was relatively new, though was welcomed considering a fact that it was an artiste they have not seen in ages.
The show as always kicked off with the Aka Dope Band with Esther Ariho alias Essie taking the audience through a number of her original compositions and a few covers – her strongest point is her vocal range and the way she’s able to raise keys with ease.
Essie was followed by Farooq, a newer vocalist that is fast getting an audience especially among those that enjoy live music – an impressive performer; he’s a hybrid of Maurice Kirya’s mwooyo with a little touch of blues and indeed has a place in the industry if he keeps at it.
But the best of the night only came when one Marsha David, a reggae afro fusion artiste took to the stage, she was the kind that performed songs no one knew but kind of felt like they had been with us for long – apparently, she has been on the gig circuit for long, but mostly performing other people’s songs.
“She’s so good and I can’t imagine that I don’t even know who she is,” noted one of the people in the audience.
More exciting vocalists like Clim, electro/rock artist Bero and famous backup artiste Sheebah Mwiza later all performed, with different levels of energy, some took the audience to church, while others brought the party home.
Like all the Aka Dope shows, it is never a complete one without a balance, this time there were two rap acts – 92XEL, a trio made up of producer Simon Elly, spoken word artiste Mal-X and rapper The Suspekt 92, performing together for the first time, they were commendable especially with a fact that they got the audience eating out of the palms by the time they finished their showcase.
Then it was time for the biggest act of the night, Michael Ross, with a bulk of songs to his name, it was right to be excited, though with a fact that many have not witnessed his live band performance. There was a scare.
He took to the stage with Take Your Clothes off, singing dancing and aptly reminding us that he’s still interested in being Uganda’s Usher Raymond.
Not gifted with the best vocals, Michael Ross is impressive with the simple voice tone he’s gifted with and he needs the respect considering the fact that he doubles both as a dancer and singer on stage – his best song of the day was Yooyo, which he entirely sang for a random girl in the audience.
Through songs like Nalulungi, Senorita and Dream Girl, he got the audience sing with him, sadly, by 11:54 when he left the stage, he had not performed Follow, Yo the One, It’s Over Now or even Nze Akwagala, but he had still made a statement, that he is still musically alive.