In a year where the music industry has been pretty inactive, a few musicians have shared their unique talents through exciting music albums. We take a look at the top 5 Ugandan music albums released this year!
State the facts, 2021 has been a musically stale year. Other than a few bands pushing themselves out of their comfort zone, there haven’t been enough hit songs compared to previous years.
Below are the top 5 Ugandan albums that rocked the airwaves and dominated online music streaming sites:
‘African Music’ – Azawi
African music for the party eh…wulira ekigoma. Of the 16 titles of Azawi’sAfrican Music‘ (released on Independence Day: October 9, 2021), you’ll have a hard time picking a favorite song because each song has a unique feel. The signed singer Swangz Avenue took her time to work on the album with some of the best producers and artists like Eddy Kenzo, Fik Fameica, A Pass and Benon Mugumbya. He draws inspiration from African melodies and instruments, and in some songs she recounts her journey from grass to grace.
Apart from the album artwork on the New York Times Square billboard, Azawi who only signed a professional contract with Swangz Avenue in 2019 was voted best female artist at the Janzi Awards and Buzz Teenz Awards. She won eight awards in total at the two award ceremonies and she is widely heralded as the best artist in the Ugandan music space this year. In his songmy year‘, she manifested that it would be her year and it came true. She promised an even hotter 2022. We look forward !
“Made in Africa” – Eddy Kenzo
Great Talent Ent. singer Eddy Kenzo started the year strong with the release of his fifth studio album called ‘Made in Africaalbum on April 29. It featured Kanda Bongoman, Philly Bongole Lutaaya, Mama Monique Seka, among others, making it a cocktail of rich sounds from legendary African musicians.
Taken from the 21-track album, ‘Weekend‘ seems to have established itself as the biggest banger in Uganda and other African countries and earned it a few awards. He was also named East Africa’s Best Mae Artist at the 2021 AFRIMA Awards.
‘Kampala Boy’ – Flex D’Paper
Over the past decade, Hip Hop has been supplanted by what folks in the genre call “Kindadali”. Rapaholix boss Flex D’Paper sought to put Hip Hop back on track ten years later in the industry by making his debut album dubbed ‘Kampala Boy‘.
Flex D’Paper created the 14-track album (released December 10, 2021) with a good balance between new school hip hop and the somewhat heavy old school west coast vibe as well as a vibe a little relaxed. Flex explores a little dancehall with some collaborations with A Pass and Kemishan which makes it a very good record.
‘Kirabo’ – Ykee Benda
Released on August 6, 2021, Ykee Benda’s 17-track album titled ‘Kirabo‘ was released on various online music streaming sites. Ykee revealed it was his gift, a token of appreciation for his fans as he marked five years in the music industry. It featured artists 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, each costing 35,000 Ugx. It was Ykee Benda’s second studio album after “Kireka Boy” released in 2017.
“I Am Chosen” – Chozen Blood
Chozen Blood’s 11-track album “I Am Chosen” was released in January and featured songs like sharp shooter, Nalozako, Mumaaso Yawe, Tobawa, Love N’ensimbi, among others. It features artists like Zex Bilangilangi, Fik Fameica, John Blaq and Wade Sylvia. Genres swung 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 on the album, sharp shooter, added to its catalog. “The song has 1.5 million views on YouTube, that shows numbers that don’t need to be debated. My brand has never been the same because it has given me mileage. I I’m lucky it’s among the many great songs of the last year,” Chozen revealed upon the album’s release.
Premium – ‘Infinity’ – Nsimbi Music
Nsimbi Music has released its 5 titles’Infinite‘ EP on November 19, 2021. Nsimbi Music is a Ugandan-American cross-cultural duo consisting of famous rapper GNL Zamba and his wife Miriam Tamar. The project is full of infusions of indigenous instruments and African acoustic sounds with urban and contemporary elements of Luga’s flow.
The first track released from the EP titled Mbaga received massive airplay on local media stations and has over 1 million streams on various online media streaming platforms in the past few weeks. He’s likely to make it bigger with more visuals 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 titled “People Of The Land” with only 50 premium copies available for sale. The few copies will be sold for $100 each, the equivalent of approximately 350,000 UGX and which would come with a CD, flash disk, wine or a hoodie.
Mugabi says the new album “has a message that’s bundled up with soul and it’s a toolkit for your life projects.” He encourages listeners to think beyond their abilities and dream beyond their imaginations. We can’t wait to have it!