The lone ranger of music

Uno Boy is back with his sixth studio album, Back By Popular Demand.

24 January 2020 | Art and Entertainment

Names like TKB, MIG and M-Gee form the fabric of music from Kavango; woven into the rich and colourful tapestry that is the Namibian sound. While these names seem like the most important figures – at least for the younger audience –those who have studied music from Kavango will know the name Uno Boy surpasses any other from that region.

He may not have had the same impact as Capitol-K, and while he doesn't have a discography laden with number one radio hits like TKB does at the moment, but in pure, undiluted essence, not many artists from Kavango can top Uno Boy.

For tjil's new segment, Where Are They Now?, we got an exclusive with the man himself to find out about his forthcoming album and what has been keeping him busy the last few years.

Uno Boy's last album was released in 2014, and after sailing that ship, he became scarce in music circles. But worry not, he is back with a new offering due for release at the end of this month.

During his absence from mainstream music, he pursued studies in boiler-making at Nirvana Academy and Johannesburg Engineering.

“I did not announce that I quit music. In the last five years or so, I went to study and while doing so, I was still recording music. Some of that material will be featured on my next album, which consists of 17 songs,” Uno Boy said.

Before pursuing his studies, Uno Boy had nine years in the music industry under his belt.

His decision to go back to school was inspired by the need to have something to fall back on, he said. “I am an entertainer and I like to dance. God forbid, if I broke my leg, for example, I would not have had something to fall back on besides the music,” he said, adding that education is important for musicians because it helps them become better songwriters and understand the business better.

His new album is about encouraging the youth to live a positive life and stay away from bad habits like drugs and abusing alcohol, he said.

“This album will also serve as a reminder for young people to not forget where they come from. It is a fusion of house, kwaito and traditional music.”

Back By Popular Demand features Lady May Africa, TKB and Kid Tino, with production credits by DJ Cronic, MJ and Elvo. Uno Boy added that this album is more personal than his previous project.

“My last album had so many features, but since I am trying to introduce a new style of music, I figured it would make sense to make it more personal,” he said.

On the roll-out plan, Uno Boy said the album will be available at the end of this month and he will officwially launch it at Walvis Bay and Windhoek's Chez Ntemba on 28 and 29 February respectively. “I also intend to take it to all corners of the country, thus on 21 and 22 March, I will be performing in Rundu. There will be a Kavango Music Awards show and I will be performing there as well so my fans can look forward to me performing songs from the new album,” he said.

While he was on his hiatus, he also attempted to rebrand from Uno Boy to Uno Man, however, he admits it was not entirely successful. “There are those who still call me Uno Boy so I have just left it in the hands of my fans. You may call me whatever suits you,” he said.

MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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