Cameroonian Afropop singer Taxman, real name Eric Nde Awah, is amazed by the progress of East African music and the creativity of most Ugandan musicians.
He talks to us about the inspiration picked from Ugandan and East African music, plans on collabos with Ugandan artistes and his EP dubbed ‘Grateful’.
Taxman believes that the Ugandan and East African music industry is rapidly growing and has given birth to lots of top talents in recent years.
Taxman says, “It’s growing rapidly. In the past few years, it has given birth to a lot of great and successful artists.”
He picks inspiration from several Ugandan artists such as Eddy Kenzo, A Pass, Sheebah, Spice Diana, Fik Fameica, John Blaq, Grenade, Vinka and Martha Kay, just to mention but a few.
“I really love their creativity and the vibe they command especially A Pass with the charming and romantic voice,” Taxman notes. He also admires Tanzania’s Diamond Platnumz.
The singer has plans of collaborating with A Pass, Sheebah and Spice Diana if the opportunity presents itself. He is also open to working with any other talented Ugandan artist.
Taxman finds so much similarity between East African music and Central African music despite the heavy uniqueness in each.
“I am from Cameroon which is classified as Central Africa. Africa is very rich when it comes to music so the African music is all one because of you listen to songs from Uganda you hear similar instruments like you will hear in music from Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, etc. What makes the difference is how it is played.”
To appeal more to the international stage, Taxman advises East African artistes to do more collaborations with foreign artistes.
East Africans need to do collaborations with foreign artist more so that they can get to know them on the other side of the Africa. Also the media should try as much as possible to avoid only promoting home content. They should promote all types of African music and create bonds with the media of other countries so that they can be promoted as well in their countries. That way, the music grows faster internationally.Taxman
Like every other Ugandan artist, the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative effect on Taxman’s plans especially by limiting his travels.
“COVID has really affected my career because all movements have been limited and also no concerts because of social distancing. All that makes things difficult and slow.”
Taxman, real name Eric Nde Awah, is a Dubai-based Cameroonian artist. In the 7 years he has lived in The United Arab Emirates, he has been working tirelessly on his music career.
Taxman’s career only took a professional journey in 2016 with his first recorded song titled ‘Tonight’ which was well received with positive feedback from his fans.
He then decided to hit the studio and work on other singles including ‘Marry Me’, ‘One 4 U’, ‘Personal Person’, and ‘Caro‘ which is currently enjoying massive airplay in Cameroon and where he lives in Dubai.
Despite having recorded projects out there, Taxman did not have any platform to perform and exhibit his talent. He struggled and was often denied the opportunity.
That did not stop him from dreaming as he decided to build a platform for himself where he could showcase his talent and that of other African artists
based in The United Arab Emirates known as +237uptownvibz-TM.
Taxman notes, “The main motive of +237uptownvibz-TM was to bring together upcoming African artists based in Dubai to perform and showcase their talents.”
In this light, +237uptownvibz-TM has successfully
held three events pulling hundreds of people around the UAE and also bringing artists from home and abroad together.
Having achieved the above mentioned, Taxman decided to work on his 9-track EP which is titled ‘Grateful’. The first song off the EP titled ‘Mama Africa’ praises Africa and the last song titled ‘Thank God’ gives glory to God for life.
The EP was released on all online stores and music streaming platforms on 27th March 2020. It is a fusion of so much diversity.
“I believe music is the only common language we all speak. When I go to an Arab, Punjabi or African gathering in the UAE, or even when I go to the clubs in Dubai, we dance to sounds from different parts of the world so I decided to make my EP very diverse even though I could not sing in the local languages from the UAE. However, I fused the songs with some instruments such as Arabic fluid, an Indian Conga which is an electric fusion with the original African Congas and drums and beats from Africa, precisely Cameroon,” Taxman revealed.
The ‘Grateful’ EP has music sung in different languages plus English, Swahili, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Twi (Ghana), and Igbo, Yoruba, Pidgin English from Cameroon.
Taxman identifies his sound as Afro-pop which infuses the Pop culture vibe and the Afrobeat sound. It is all included in the EP plus; a Dancehall trac, a Zouk track and Middle East sounds.
It also features different artists like Larudche from Argentina. All the songs on the EP were recorded, mixed and mastered by Supper Brain Beats.