“Despite rumours of previously booked performances reportedly to be held in East Africa, notably Uganda, recently circulated in the media, Busy Signal has been officially confirmed to perform in Uganda courtesy of Suudiman Productions. Both Busy Signal’s Turf Music Entertainment and Suudiman Productions will be holding a press conference to kick off their East African tour. All aspects of this tour will be a joint venture between Turf Music Entertainment and Suudiman Productions…”
Those are the words of Jamaican Dancehall Reggae sensation Busy Signal, real names Glendale Goshia Gordon, posted on his Facebook profile page on Friday. The news came as relief to Signal fans, who had endured weeks of speculation about the singer’s rumored East African tour. Perhaps that is why the singer had to start his Facebook post by clearing the air on the matter once and for all.
For weeks leading up to the singer’s Friday announcement, three different music promoters in Uganda have been laying claim to the Busy Signal East Africa tour.
And apparently, it is not just the music promoters fighting over ownership of the One More Night and Come Over (missing you) singer. The fans, too, seem to be hard at it. Do you want to know who is fighting over Signal? Well, it is the rest of Africa against East Africa, the host.
Here’s an example: All the first seven comments that followed Busy Signal’s Facebook post came from far off Zimbabwe, a country that is known for its love for reggae.
“Man come to ZIM,” wrote Memory Chamunorwa, while Ob Chakaz asked Busy to “Tour Zim”. “Come to Zimbabwe Busy. Zimbabwe dancehall to the world,” wrote Sydon Ranjisi Drio. There were more comments from across the continent, notably reggae-loving countries like Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa, urging the singer to extend his tour to their countries.
But for now, they will have to pray a little harder if their dream is to materialize, as the singer’s tour is limited to East Africa.
Otherwise, they may have to consider flying down to Kampala or Kigali, where the singer is slated to perform in the first week of December.
The man bringing the Busy Signal carnival to town is none other than Suudi Lukwago, through his label, Suudiman Productions. Suudi is a US-based Ugandan music and concert promoter whose claim to fame is flying in international artistes to perform across the continent. Most notably, he brought singers R. Kelly and Brick & Lace to Uganda, the former in 2010, and the latter at the close of 2007). He has also taken Shakira to Egypt, and Rihanna to Nigeria.
According to Suudi, his client will be in both Kampala and Kigali in the first week of December. “He is coming with his own full band, and a delegation of sixteen people which includes his dancers. He will be performing for two straight hours as per the agreement signed.”
But who is Busy Signal? Well, he was born Glendale Goshia Gordon 24 January 1979, in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. His first hit single, Step Out came in 2005, going ahead to be one of the biggest dancehall songs that year. But as one of the artistes at the forefront of the contemporary dancehall movement, Busy had been a major player in the industry since 2003.
The man behind the name
Busy Signal is nothing short of an authentic Jamaican Dancehall Reggae superstar with world class style. He embodies the positively militant Jamaica attitude, creativity and confidence with an international fan base in mind.
While a musical legend in his own right, off stage the singer seems to embody the exact opposite of what fans have come to know dancehall musicians for.
He is the nice, homely type of a guy, as opposed to his musical peers whose entire lives seem to revolve around partying. He always sticks with his professional management team, as opposed to moving with large crews of hommies.
Generally speaking, dancehall singers are expected to clash lyrically, date serially, get into ugly fist fights, disrespect the police and get arrested over and over. Busy Signal is the total opposite.
One of the most probable reasons for this is that he has a very solid management team and support structure, including his manager Shane Brown, a young and experienced engineer who has worked as an engineer for Shaggy for ten years and toured extensively with the reggae band Morgan Heritage as an engineer.
His media strategist and personal manager, Pansy Dixon pays close attention to detail on how the brand Busy Signal is portrayed, while Robert Livingston, Shaggy’s former manager has stayed close to his career.
One thing that can’t go unsaid about Busy Signal is his musical midas touch, with which every song that he touches literally turns to gold. He does popular, contemporary versions of the songs of some of the most iconic figures across the musical board. It is one thing to do a cover version of a popular song, and another thing to actually beat the song’s owner at his own game, which is what the case seems to be for some of the songs he has reborn.
In his Reggae’s gone country album, he samples Kenny Rodgers 1978 Country hit, The Gambler to astonishing effect. He has also done a reggae version of rapper Jay-Z’s Forever Young, his vocal intensity here near glass-shattering.
Busy Signal albums
Step Out (2006), Reggae Music Again (2012), Loaded (2008), D.O.B (2010), Free the Universe (2013).