Let’s just all admit it, music in Uganda is not what it used to be a few years back. If you’re an old soul then you agree that back in the day, local music was all we ever wanted to listen to. Who remembers the days of Mama Mia and Ebinyumu Ebyaffe?
While we currently have great Ugandan musicians like Jose Chameleone, Bebe Cool, Bobi Wine, Juliana Kanyomozi, Iryn Namubiru, Sheebah, Radio & Weasel, and others, there is another bunch of artistes whose music is unforgettable.
Let’s walk you down the memory lane with some timeless Ugandan in no particular order that will forever be played. Grab your headphones because your day is about to get better.
Elly Wamala Music
Elly Wamala was the first Ugandan musician to record a song and most of his songs such as Ebinyumu Ebyaffe where he described the social life and the favorite hang outs back then. Up to date, the song is still playing. Wamala had more nice songs which are still doing well such as; Nga bwewakolanga, Ani yali amanyi. His music was redone by several musicians and still sold successfully. He was a gem of a composer, writer, producer, singer and an instrumentalist too.
Philly Lutaaya’s Christmas album
What is Christmas day in Uganda without Phiily Bongoley Lutaaya’s Christmas Album? It is his music that finally marks the beginning of the festive season in Uganda. Many Ugandan artistes have tried to compose Christmas songs but have not managed to be successful as Philly’s Christmas album that way released more than 30 years ago. The man set the bar way too high.
Namagembe — Madoxx Sematimba
Namagembe has been Ugandan anthem for the longest time. It is very rare to go in the club and move out without listening to this song and it always sounds fresh. Ugandans get rowdy every time the DJ plays the song or when the Reggae legend performs. You’d think the song was released last week.
Maama — Judith Babirye
This is the theme song for mothers mostly played on graduation parties and Kwanjula events. And on annual calendar dates like Mother’s Day, what else would you listen to honour your mother’s sacrifice?
Eno Mic — Ziggy Dee
Let’s agree. If this song plays in the club and you don’t get up from your seat, two things are involved; you are either deaf, or you are too young to be in the club, or both. This is one of the best club songs everyone has loved from Uganda.
Mama Mia — Jose Chameleone
This is the song that made Ugandans sing in Kiswahili even when they did not know the language. It was a smash hit from the coarse-voiced music and still is, as it brings back those old memories. The Leone Island founder is still known for his song Mama Mia that debuted him on the music scene that he has since dominated for decades.
Mama Mia was a breath of fresh air into the music industry that was infested with Congolese Lingala. The song has stood the test of time – stuff only Legends do.
Oswadde Nyo — Afrigo Band
Afrigo Band turned on their genius hats in the making of this song’s beat. A purely dance song with the African sound that is a collection of instruments. You can’t fail to dance to this song when it is played because it sounds fresh every day.
Kimuli kya Rose — Fred Maiso (RIP)
95% of weddings in Uganda have to play this song because it praises a lady whose beauty compares to that of a red rose. When Maiso passed on in 2012, most people didn’t not know who he was, until you mentioned or hummed the song.
Obangaina — Racheal Magola
Another Afrigo Band production makes the list for the legends that they are. The vocals of Racheal Magola on this one complement the sound. When someone plays this song anywhere, it’s as fresh as they come.
Ajulina — DJ Languna
This fine tune from Acholi has been on top of the Acholi’s playlist for over 20 years, and an Acholi wedding is not a wedding if the DJ does not play this song.
Feeling nostalgic? These are the wines of music, the older they grow, the sweeter they become to the ears and tiring to the feet.
If you don’t know any of the songs above, slap yourself or better yet, make good use of your bundles.