Talk about band music in Uganda and quite a few groups like Janzi, Afrigo, Qwela and Eagles Production will be summoned to your mind.
This kind of art in Uganda has hugely gravitated around cover bands – those that mimick the original as perfectly as possible, and sometimes re-interpreting or change the original.
They often perform in smaller venues, such as pubs, clubs or parks, private events, for example, weddings and birthday parties.
Nilerz is however quite unique. It’s rather a recording band with a few singles out, but also veers into the former occasionally.
From starting small – nearly half a decade ago, to securing theme nights at different popular locations in Kampala and it’s outskirts, growth has been one of it’s highlights.
The Ugandan band now boasts of various personnel that is to say three vocalists, three guitarists, keyboardist, drummer, saxophonist and percussionist
On Wednesday, the outfit resumed with a bang in their new home at Monalisa De Boss bar along Kisaasi, Kyanja road. A blend of reggae, urban contemporary, Congolese music and Afropop dominated their cover choices as they excited their fans.
One of Kampala’s renowned ‘party animals’ Allan Kanyike couldn’t hide his joy as he stepped on stage to shake every band member’s hand.
“Awesome! Uganda Zaabu,” he said as he danced away the night.
Emmanuel Maruda, one of the proprieters of the band says the team of youthful members has gelled over time.
“The average age of the boys is 22. Their musicality level has risen from working together, over and over again. They currently compete with bands that have existed for over 10 years.”
Maruda adds that he’s “looking forward to helping the band become the ‘Ugandan UB40’.”