In a year when the music industry has been quite inactive, a few musicians have shared their unique talents through exciting music albums. We look at the top 5 Ugandan music albums released this year!
Stating facts, 2021 has been a stale year musically. Apart from a few acts that pushed themselves out of their comfort zones, there have not been enough hit songs in comparison to the previous years.
Below are the top 5 Ugandan albums that have rocked the airwaves and dominated the online music streaming sites:
‘African Music’ – Azawi
African music for di party eh…wulira ekigoma. Of the 16 tracks on Azawi’s ‘African Music‘ album (released on Independence Day: 9th October, 2021), you will struggle to pick a favorite song because every song has a unique feel. The Swangz Avenue signed singer took her time working on the album with some of the top producers and artistes like Eddy Kenzo, Fik Fameica, A Pass, and Benon Mugumbya. It is inspired by African melodies and instruments, and in some of the songs she narrates her journey from grass to grace.
Apart from the Album artwork making it on the New York Times Square billboard, Azawi who only signed a professional contract with Swangz Avenue in 2019 was voted the Best Female Artiste at the Janzi Awards and Buzz Teenz Awards. She collected eight awards in total from the two awards events and she is widely proclaimed as the best artiste in the Ugandan music space this year. In her song ‘My Year‘, she manifested it would be her year and it has come to reality. She has promised even a hotter 2022. We can’t wait!
‘Made In Africa’ – Eddy Kenzo
Big Talent Ent. singer Eddy Kenzo started the year strong with the release of his fifth studio album dubbed ‘Made In Africa‘ album on 29th April. It featured the likes of Kanda Bongoman, Philly Bongole Lutaaya, Mama Monique Seka, among others, making it a cocktail of rich sound from the legendary African musicians.
Off the 21-track album, ‘Weekend‘ seems to have stood out as the biggest banger in Uganda and other African countries and has won him a couple of awards. He was also named the Best Mae Artiste in Eastern Africa at the 2021 AFRIMA awards.
‘Kampala Boy’ – Flex D’Paper
Over the past decade or so, Hip Hop has been overridden by what people in the genre call ‘Kindadali’. Rapaholix boss Flex D’Paper sought to get Hip Hop back on track ten years into the industry by making his debut album dubbed ‘Kampala Boy’.
Flex D’Paper created the 14-track album (released on 10th December, 2021) with a good balance between new school Hip Hop and the old school heavy West Coast kinda vibe as well as a bit of a laid back vibe. Flex explores a little bit of dancehall with a couple of collaborations with A Pass and Kemishan which makes it a very good record.
‘Kirabo’ – Ykee Benda
Released on 6th August, 2021, Ykee Benda’s 17-track album titled ‘Kirabo‘ was released on different online music streaming sites. Ykee revealed that it was his gift, a token of appreciation to his fans as he marked five years in the music industry. It featured artistes like Dre Cali, Lydia Jazmine, Gaz Mawete, Tekno Miles, BM, Uncle Austin, among others.
After a few days of release, Ykee revealed that he had sold over 500 copies of the album which was sold on his Mpaka Records with each costing Ugx35,000. It was Ykee Benda’s second studio album following ‘Kireka Boy’ which dropped in 2017.
‘I Am Chosen’ – Chozen Blood
Chozen Blood’s 11-track ‘I Am Chosen’ album was released in January and had songs like Sharp Shooter, Nalozako, Mumaaso Yawe, Tobawa, Love N’ensimbi, among others. It features artistes like Zex Bilangilangi, Fik Fameica, John Blaq, and Wade Sylvia. The genres shifted between Afro-Caribbean, Dancehall, Hiplife, and Afro R&B with songs produced by Nessim, Zulitums, Artin Pro, and Bomba Music.
Chozen acknowledged the magic that one of the songs off the album, Sharp Shooter, added to his catalogue. “The song has 1.5 million views on YouTube, this shows numbers that don’t need debate. My brand has never been the same because it gave me mileage. I’m blessed that it was among the many good songs last year,” Chozen revealed upon releasing the album.
Bonus – ‘Infinity’ – Nsimbi Music
Nsimbi Music released its 5-track ‘Infinity‘ E.P on 19th November, 2021. Nsimbi Music is a Ugandan-American cross-cultural duo consisting of celebrated rapper GNL Zamba and his wife Miriam Tamar. The project is full of infusions from indigenous instruments and acoustic African sounds with urban and contemporary elements of Luga flow.
The first track released off the E.P titled Mbaga has received massive airplay on local media stations and boasts over a million streams on different online media streaming platforms in the past few weeks. It is likely to make it bigger with more visuals set to be released as the new year unfolds.
One To Watch in 2022 – ‘People Of The Land’ – Kenneth Mugabi
In November, Kenneth Mugabi revealed how he would be releasing a new album dubbed “People Of The Land” with only 50 premium copies available for sale. The few copies will each be sold at $100, an equivalent of about UGX 350,000 and that would be accompanied with a CD, flash disk, wine or a hood sweater.
Mugabi says the new album “has a message that is soulfully packaged and it is a tool kit to your life plans.” He encourages listeners to think beyond their ability, and dream beyond their imagination. We can’t wait to have it!