By Nathan Kiwere
Every single year that passes witnesses giant strides in the entertainment industry across the board, whether in terms of new players emerging or old ones becoming bigger. It is rarely a game of retrogression. Music grows in leaps and bounds with many displacements, chart busters and much more. The past year has been eventful particularly in gospel music, both locally and internationally.
In this issue we bring you the Good News’ list of gospel musicians that are likely to turn the tables in 2020. This list, in no particular order, is premised on our assessment of the artists’ performance in 2019 and our forecast of their potential in 2020.
Esther and Ezekiel
Ugandan singing youngsters, Esther and Ezekiel Mutesasira won the first edition of East Africa’s Got Talent Show 2019. The hitherto unknown duo hit the scene with a bang after a stimulating televised finale at Catholic University auditorium in Nairobi, Kenya. The siblings walked home with a US$50,000 (Shs184m) grand prize! Judging by the manner in which they have capitalized on their new-found fame, through continuous jawdropping performance locally, we can only imagine what 2020 holds for them.
Formerly known as Leviticus, Levixione is a Ugandan gospel artist and songwriter who has become one of the top-notch performers in Uganda and the rest of East Africa. He started out as a protégé of the late local Afro-pop singer Mark Elvis who sadly perished in a water accident in Mombasa in 2013. Some of his popular songs are Esaala and Turn the Replay. He also has Edoboozi, Jungle, among others. Having had a good year in 2019, we expect that Levixione will continue to rock scene with his vocal prowess.
After a long hiatus off the music scene, former secular performer Grace Nakimera, is back with a bang, but this time with the message of the Good News of salvation. Nakimera’s maiden gospel music brought to life in 2019 is Anviliddeyo, loosely translated as “He (God) has revealed Himself to me”. If indeed the gusto with which she made her statement is for real, then we should brace ourselves for more of her in 2020.
Ivodrous (real name Ivan Luyima) is a Ugandan dance hall reggae artist, song writer and missionary worker. He is also a TV and Radio presenter on Dream TV and Impact FM respectively. His hits include My Everything and Weterekere, among others. His charming style that came to the forefront in 2019 is likely to continue in 2020
Considered one of the most influential gospel artists in Uganda, Coopy Bly has been on the scene for over a decade and a half, and has topped local chats severally. In the past year he has had great success in appealing to older generations. There is all indication that in 2020 he will continue with his tradition of wowing audiences with his stage craft.
You can call her a ‘newbie’ if you like because she is still very fresh on the local music scene. But this music firebrand that refers to herself ‘Omukiga Omukyajinge’ (the charged Mukiga) has come with the kind of energy that few people can fathom. Her 2019 maiden hits include Heart Attack and Biratangaza. Should she continue into the New Year with even half the energy she has thus far exuded, then the world is for her to conquer.
Daisy Ejang is a Ugandan singer and was a finalist in the 6th series of Tusker Project Fame. She has released several hit singles, including ‘Shuga’, ‘Eyes On Me’, ‘Love You Lord’, among others.
Pr Wilson Bugembe needs no introduction. He remains one of the few performers that cannot go without mention when compiling a list of this nature. The evergreen musician remains an icon of local gospel music year in, year out. The New Year will certainly bring the same fortunes to him.