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Ugandan Artist Spilla Combines African & Western Rhythms


Ugandan singer Spilla is not yet a household name but he's determined to make a lasting impression... to inspire a generation.

"I sing about everyday experiences" he says. His latest single One by One is about having fun in a nightclub.

Spilla is part of a new breed of East African musicians playing a genre of music commonly known as Bongo Flava.

Bongo Flava fuses Swahili lyrics with English phrases and combines different aspects of Hip Hop to give it a unique East African sound that dominates the East African music scene.

Bongo Flava has had its share of one hit wonders. Spilla hopes to stick around longer than that.

One way he hopes to make this happen is by making his music a little different than typical Bongo Flava. He takes the old sound of Bongo Flava and other local styles, and mixes in his own flavor to produce a different sound he calls 'Bashment.'

When asked about his inspiration Spilla pays hommage to those before him, but hastens to add that he wants to be different. "I don't want to be like anyone else. I want to produce something different from what other artist on the bongo flava and bashment music scene," he says.

He has been recognized as one of East Africa's young and versatile artists. Spilla says he sees big things happening for him as an artist and the relatively new style of music he plays.

His music is different from that of other current performers, and hopes this will make a lasting impression with his fans. His first single has received some positive reviews and lots of airplay on local East African FM stations. This makes him standout from the crowded scene of upcoming artists who are trying to be part of the challenging music business.

But he is not without detractors. He says some of them, including his parents, tell him to stick to school and leave the 'crazy music business' alone. But Spilla is determined to prove them wrong. "People used to tell me to stick to my education. But that did not put me off. I stuck with it. You can't listen to detractors, otherwise you will not get anything done."

Many artists never get signed to a major record deal, and western audiences are generally not targeted. But Spilla has caught the eye of producers in Britain and soon he'll release a full-length album.

He says that experience has shown that when an artists produces good music, they will always have a following. Through the internet and other forms of new media he hopes to gain a wider appeal, beyond the East African borders. Not many have achieved such a feat but he hopes he will be one of those musicians – and in the process he says " I want to win the hearts of many Africans."

Watch Music video: Spilla and Mr Blue

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