On this list, in no particular order, we look at some of the Ugandan artistes to look out for this year. These are artistes who dominated 2019, some who had an average year but showed signs of great improvement, and those who have laid out plans to dominate our playlists in 2020.
The Team No Sleep queen had three hit songs in 2019; Onkutudde, Nyanda, and Sweet Sensation (feat. Orezi) on top of a well furnished mansion, a couple of endorsement deals, and being recognized by BBC as one of the top 5 artistes to watch out for in 2020, Sheebah easily belongs here.
Of the names mentioned on this list, Sheebah already released the first song of this decade titled ‘Ekyama’. The song, premiered on January 1st 2020, is a sweet one, a sign of several others to come.
For Allan Toniks, his return to the top scene started in 2018 with the release of Romantic and Ensonga. In 2019 he dropped a monster hit in Sunday (feat. Slick Stuart and Roja). It was listed among our top five songs of the year. In the same year, his songs Falling (feat. Fille) and Wonder Woman (feat. Bruno K) received good airplay.
He is in studio working on more songs which erases the doubts of whether he won’t slip back into inconsistency. One thing we can’t put in doubt is his ability to sing which when added to consistency will create a top act in Toniks this year.
Fille Mutoni would find a hard time describing 2019 in one word. It was all sorts of things, some of her own making and others by the people around her. She broke up with her baby daddy and manager MC Kats in February 2019 and they both were distracted greatly by the split.
Fille also struggled with drug abuse and actually had to check into rehab to get her health back on track. Towards the end of the year, her name was dragged into the headlines after Kats went public about his HIV/AIDS status.
Quite too much to handle but she managed to give us a couple of good songs like Falling (feat. Allan Toniks), Squeeze (feat. Voltage Music), Wekole Byonna (feat. Brian Weiyz), Mudaala, Fly Away (feat. MC Kats), among others.
Without similar distractions, Fille can make it big this year and she has already dropped a brand new song titled Kako featuring rising singer Victor Ruz. She can concentrate now and bless our ears with some eargasm.
Parte After Parte was the biggest song by a Ugandan in 2019. With the song, Big Tril’s brand managed to traverse the world and he individually performed at stages he might not even have dreamt of before. He also gained new friends and big fans in the likes of Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, DJ Cuppy, Adebayor, among others.
With such an experience, the contacts he has gathered, the tips he has shared with bigger stars, and the fans gathered in this period, Big Trill only needs to drop more projects. He has always released good music but only lacked a breakthrough song. Now that he has it, we tip him to become even a bigger star in 2020 Africa-wide.
Having been involved in the industry for close to ten years, Karole Kasita only broke out with her hit single Yaka. It will come as a surprise but Karole only became the talk of town three years ago yet she has been backing up artistes and singing in the S&S Band.
2019 saw Karole consolidate her position in the industry with more projects, and a fairly attended concert on 19th December. She released other top songs like Mwoto (feat. Cindy), Binyuma, Baby Papa (feat. Daddy Andre), Nkuwulira (feat. Mudra). For all the experience she has gathered and finally managing to breakthrough, she has herself to blame if she fails to maintain the level this year.
The common talk on these streets is that Vinka, having left Swangz Avenue to join Sony Music, might become yet another flop just like Keko and Naava Grey who signed for international record labels only for their music careers to flop.
While speaking to this website last year, Swangz Ave. CEO Julius Kyazze revealed that they are still gonna be hands-on with Vinka locally as Sony makes the other decisions. She might not be able to release a song every month which, according to Bebe Cool, is a good thing since it gives her songs enough time to be consumed by the market.
With Jangu Ondabe, Bajikona, Emmala (feat. Omulangira Suuna), Mood, Ekyeejo, and the biggest of them all Omusheshe (feat. Ray G), Spice Diana had an awesome 2019.
Spice Diana is to set her own pace starting January 17th 2020 at Freedom City where she will be staging her much anticipated concert. She has remained consistently a top female artiste the past two years and she can easily do it this year as well.
Again, the case for Rema last year was distractions…or “Positive Distractions” if we must say. Gutujja (feat. B2C Entertainment) was arguably a top hit in 2019 but we never saw more of Rema musically but rather her brand being engulfed in controversies prior to her wedding with Dr. Hamzah Ssebunya.
Rema’s talent can never be doubted. Her vocals are infectious and her music is enriched with messages that can relate to both the music fans in the worst slums and those who chill at the posh places in the city. She is poised to concentrate on music this year and might have a great year, musically.
Just like Bebe Cool said, A Pass just needs to be more serious about covering a bigger space amongst the local music lovers with his music rather than comic skits. He is immensely talented as he can sing, produce, and write music.
Above his talent, A Pass has mastered the art of online marketing which is a big skill an artist should have today. Critically, his only problem is failing to have a big team to push his brand to the furthest points amongst the common man but we anticipate a great 2020 for him.
Widely known as Hajati wa Hajji, Vivian Tendo is the sixth female artiste on this list and she deserves to be anyway. Her music captures the attention of all music fans. With songs like Hajati Wa Hajji, Gwe Wange, Maama, Onyango, Nkulowoza, she had a good 2019.
She is signed to Route Entertainment and has the backing of super Songwriters and Producers in Yese Oman Rafiki and Eli Arkhis. All she’ll need is to breakout of the shell of self-sympathy that she is young just like Recho Rey did to become a big brand standing amongst the top names in the industry.
As a BONUS on this list, Azawi – the new songstress signed to Swangz Avenue – is tipped to be one hot item this year. Azawi will drop her very first project dubbed Quinamino on January 6th but having witnessed the other artistes under Swangz, their first year is always a bomb.
Azawi has been doing music and performing underground and it seems like Swangz is willing to put all their focus on her this year. Going by Vinka’s example, she can go on to make a name for herself. We’ll keep on the watch.
Who else do you think can make the cut on this list?
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