Meet Peter Miles and Menshan, the Ugandan dancehall stars

These are perhaps the only Ugandan artistes one would confidently call ‘International’ because all the time they have been in music, Peter Miles and Menshan have proven to the outside world that Ugandan music is worth listening to.
Menshan and Peter Miles from Uganda
Menshan and Peter Miles from Uganda

These are perhaps the only Ugandan artistes one would confidently call ‘International’ because all the time they have been in music, Peter Miles and Menshan have proven to the outside world that Ugandan music is worth listening to.

But even then, Peter Miles (a.k.a.Kanyike Peter) feels it’s not enough. For that reason the duo has promised to be a team to watch in 2009 because this time round, they focus on the local music scene.

“Though I have been able to go to school, I can live and support my family through my music, have gained fame but am still looking ahead to greater things,” in his signature deep throat voice, Miles reveals his ambitions.

Their music may not be very popular in Kigali but talent has taken them to many places around the world.  At my first encounter with them,  Besigye Daniel aka Menshan brings his trade mark fist forth meeting mine in mid air and in a strange language he says, “bi-quai big ti-ngs agwan.”

The 28-year-old later explains that the strange language is actually Jamaican and tells me more about the secrets behind his music carrier.

Born in Entebbe, Miles and Menshan spent most of their childhood together as neighbors and that is how they teamed up.

Peter, whose elder brother John Miles is also a musician living in Jamaica says it is because of his family that he gained an interest in music.

“John is my inspiration and has four albums but he sings roots reggae while I sing dancehall reggae,” Peter Miles who is also the Motorola Brand Ambassador in Uganda says of his brother.

Peter and Menshan are giving the local languages a touch of Jamaican accent, the duo did ‘One time’ which became a household song with the young and the old echoing “One time... One time.”

Towards the end of last year, Peter Miles joined Klear Kut and 2Face of Nigeria and did an international block buster hit called Rukus.

This was a remix to the song by the same name done by Navio, of Klear Kut, and Peter Miles. The song blazed the international music charts and became MTV’s favorite for a while. 

It has grown from an African song to an internationally known song that has pushed off other renowned songs from the MTV music charts.

Despite concentrating on the outside world to put Uganda on the world map, the local crowd still yearns for them. As the duo stepped on stage to curtain raise for the MTN Sponsored Shaggy Concert, ladies screamed their voices hoarse as the young and old held their breath and flexed their leg muscles to get ready for a raga touch.

With songs like Muwala, Tanfaako, Owange and Yesu (done with Kristo Fabulous) being lined up, there is absolutely no doubt that the duo will continue to rise and drive crowds crazy.

Ooh Aah, his other musical chant about people allover the world was done with the famous General Levy of Jamaica.
Reggae icon Richy Spice, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Jamaica’s Daville of the On my mind fame with Sean Paul are some of the outstanding names that Miles and Menshan have rubbed shoulders with, lately.

From Kigali, the duo would go for a tour in Northern Uganda before resuming their US tour which started mid this year.

“Before we came here we performed at the Florida convention and also contributed to the victory of US elect president Barrack Obama,” said Menshan.

The group which also performed at the G8 summit in September 2007 has toured all East African countries, South Africa, Ghana, Botswana and Nigeria.

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