Today, we bring you our list of the 20 most popular Ugandan musicians. The list is based on the success of the artiste’s latest release and the amount of airplay the artiste generally receives. Also, it is compiled with help from top radio deejays’ biggest requests, music producers, discotheque deejays and TV music shows’ presenters.
I have omitted album sales because Ugandan artistes no longer make money off album sales due to piracy.
1. Mowzey Radio and Weasel
Speaking of musical success, Mowzey Radio and Weasel are amazing. Never in Uganda’s music history has there been a young group breaking rules to surpass established artistes and clinch the top spot in the industry.
2. Wilson Bugembe
His success story goes beyond the gospel sector. Bugembe’s music has broken barriers which other gospel songs have failed. Kani for example receives radio requests from even Moslems.
3. GNL Zamba
GNL’s revolution of hip hop with Lugaflow is crazy. He signed up with MTN and has done jingles for the telecommunications company.
Jamal’s inestimable talent has seen him move places since he was dropped by Tusker Project Fame II. His singles Anakwagala and Abakyala Bazira are hitting hard. His recent unplugging at Silk Lounge and the radio airplay prove he is getting deeply rooted.
When she left Blu3, there was doubt if she could do it on her own. But she has proved more than capable of standing on her own and silenced her critics.
6. Henry Tigan
Henry Tigan is another surprise nominee in the top ranks. With his strong vocals, and strong collabos with Ganja Planter and Bobi Wine, music selectors and deejays seem to agree that this lanky singer is a heavy weight.
7. Grace Nakimera
She is one of the best female solo stage performers. Grace is also known for producing the best videos.
8. Juliana Kanyomozi
Her releases are well spaced. But that has not stopped her from remaining a firm favourite. The award-winning Juliana is one of the most sought after artistes in Uganda.
9. Desire Luzinda
Desire remains one of the best female artistes in the country. Famed for her singles; Nkomyewo, Bingi, Mubiite, Nina Omwami, Desire’s latest track, Okubeera W’oli is awesome.
10. Isaiah Katumwa
He is one artiste you will not find at a Shs 3,000 or Shs 5,000 concert, but even without racing around from concert to another for the sake of popularity, Isaiah’s expensive concerts never flop. He is a hot item at high-end corporate functions.
11. Jose Chameleone
This is one surprising act. He has been written off several times but Chameleone remains one of Uganda’s best selling items. He is going nowhere.
Things haven’t been going well for the trio in recent years, but they made a surprise come back after the break up while many expected them to die out.
13. Bobi Wine
Bobi Wine has matured a lot in recent years. He no longer sings for the sake of it but sings with a purpose. He calls his music, edutainment.
14. Bebe Cool
Bebe Cool knows how to ride the celebrity airwaves. When his wife left him, he made a fortune from that. When she came back to him, he again used the publicity to make more money.
15. Afrigo band
It is the country’s longest serving band and has never lost out its credentials on music capability. The band recently moved from Old Port Bell Road to Little Flowers but that did not affect business
16. Eagles Production
If you want to know how successful this group is, then ask the organizers of Beat FM’s recent Oluwombo. Eagles Production is perhaps the only group that is booked for the rest of the year. According to one event organizer, if you were to book them today, you would have buy off one of the smaller shows. Famous names include Mesach Semakula and Ronald Mayinja, who are huge successes individually.
17. Haruna Mubiru
Yes, he is a band member with Eagles Production, but he got several mentions away from the band. Truly, the band has set a record of building great musicians.
18. Peter Miles
Uganda’s proven dancehall artist, he is a talented fella whose fans swear he is the best musician in the country. Very creative, he is perhaps not as famous as he is supposed to be because the audiences don’t have taste for styled raga. He speaks Jamaican, which heavily influences his music style.