Keko – Repping Uganda
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She is the newest MC in Africa’s pool of female rappers, but she comes all out with her “on point” and powerful lyrics. This beautiful young lady from Uganda,who decided to get serious with her talent last year has been causing ripples, not only in Uganda, but across East Africa.
Her music, which focuses predominantly on the youth, is groovy, yet has some deep underlying message that gives you a glimpse of who Keko is. It also brings out different issues that people around the globe can identify with.
Jamati Online got the chance to have a talk to Keko, who pulls no punches and puts it straight as it is:
Jamati Online: Who is Keko, what are you all about?
KEKO is a rapper/songwriter that has a deep appreciation and love for music; a sociably down to earth person… I don’t like to take myself too seriously although my yes and no’s are in pure black and white.
Jamati Online: When did you start rapping?
I started rapping in university, that’s around 2008, although most of it was for my own and friends listening pleasure. In 2010 I had an awakening [and] I started to submit my music to radio.
Jamati Online: Who inspires your music?
My inspirations range from my environment to Afrigo band (Uganda), Lauryn Hill, Tupac Shakur and Kanye West.
Jamati Online: Who are the target group for your music?
My target group is predominantly the youth, that is, the teenagers and young adults who understand the music; I wouldn’t, however, want to close myself in because the album shows a mature side of KEKO that even the older generation will appreciate.
Jamati Online: You are also very fashionable in your music videos, different I might call it, is it a planned thing – the swag?
My fashion represents KEKO the artiste, intentional. Absolutely, although the swag comes quite naturally I suppose lol! My stylist (Gloria Wavamuno) is an international brand herself, when we sit we exchange ideas and come up with something unique and fashionable at the same time.
Jamati Online: Where do you record your music?
I record my music in Uganda with excellent producers at Swangz Avenue and Roota Records.
Jamati Online: What makes you stand out from other rappers in Africa e.g. Sasha (Nigeria), and STL (Kenya)?
I have a deep respect for the both of them and what they have done for female rap in Africa. That said, what makes me stand out from both of them is what I bring to the table, I don’t think Africa has had a female rapper that is as versatile and able to paint vivid pictures with words the way I do in my music. I am a rapper, singer, song writer and I like to believe I am the whole package.
Jamati Online: How has the response been to your music so far?
Ninety-nine percent of it has been a very positive response which is the driving force; the motivation from the fans drives me to aim for the moon.
Jamati Online: What plans do you have for you music, an album soon?
I intend to go to the entire planet with my music that’s why I am working super hard in the studio on my debut album “The Soundtrack” which should be in stores by the time you have your Christmas lunch meal.
Jamati Online: Where have you toured, in Africa and Abroad?
I just got here, but I have been able to perform at the Selam International Festival in Ethiopia (Addis Ababa), a really great learning experience. I will be in America and Europe at the end of the year.
Jamati Online: What are the challenges you have faced so far and what have been the highlights?
The challenges for me have been trying to find a balance between my career and personal life, and constantly trying to turn non-believers into believers, both of which I am gladly taking on. The highlights–representing Uganda at the Selam International Festival; winning the 2011 Female and Breakout Artiste awards at the Buzz Teenies Awards; and getting a call from Channel O to be one of the three fresh acts from Africa that they are unveiling in 2011.
Jamati Online: What is your word to your fans out there?