When Klear Kut started out 12 years ago, they initially looked like spoilt rich kids looking for an avenue of spending their parents’ money.
Besides, they were doing hip hop, a genre that had not yet been accepted by the Ugandan audience. But the group of five comprising Navio, Papito, Abba Lang, JB, and The Mith would go on to shock Uganda, first by getting nominated at the inaugural Pearl of Africa Music Awards and going on to win the award for best Hip Hop group.
Then they came up with Mon Coeur/Murder whose video was the first Ugandan video to air on MTV. But perhaps the group’s greatest achievement came when they got nominated at the 2002 Kora All Africa Music Awards in the Most Promising African Group and Revelation of the Year categories with the hit single All I Wanna Know.
This also made them the first Ugandan group to be nominated for a Kora. At the time, in their own words, “not even the sky was the limit.”
But slowly, the group fell apart as JB, Papito, The Mith and Abba Lang left for studies, and later in Abba Lang’s case, marry and start a family in Germany. The remaining member Navio embarked on a hugely successful solo career as he waited for his friends to return. For Navio, it’s been time well spent; today, he’s Uganda’s hip hop ambassador with mega hits such as Raw and Naawuliranga.
The other members gradually returned to Uganda but somehow music was no longer their biggest agenda except for Tom Mayanja a.k.a The Mith. And last Friday he made a giant leap in the music industry when he launched his solo career at the Garden City rooftop. Mayanja, who says his stage name stands for everything he believes in musically, had a good start to whatever lies ahead.
In his definition, The Mith is an acronym for Music in the Highest and we can only hope that he keeps going higher because for a show that was actually a listener’s party, no one expected him to have that big a crowd.
Everyone walking in Garden City at the time seemed to be heading for the rooftop; not even the Shs 20,000 that at first many thought was too much, stopped people from flocking in. Looks like the inflation hasn’t affected the hip hop lovers yet.
Again, DJ Aludah proved he is Uganda’s illiest DJ, while the guys who worked on the lighting and the band just deserve a bonus; they gave people value for their money.
Lillian ushered the man of the night to the floor and he went through the tracks off September Reign, a mix tape he has just released. Navio, JB, and Unique joined him on stage and the crowd sang along. Even ghetto president Bobi Wine made an unusual appearance and be it hip hop or afro beat, the crowds just love him.
In the audience, The Mith’s big sister Helena Mayanja – the Multichoice Uganda publicist – was so excited at her kid bro’s achievement, she cut some rare dance strokes.
After his successful show The Mith told The Observer he is reintroducing himself as another alternative to Ugandan hip hop and in two weeks, he will release his debut album The week of September which includes an all-star remix titled Big is Me and a collabo with Percussion Discussion titled Toast to Life which he says will take Kampala by storm.
As the icing on the cake, he also launched his t-shirt label “I’m So Ug”. With all that, we can only wait for what else he has in store and for the ladies, he says he is “so single and in search of a soul mate.”
With that revelation, he might have opened a Pandora’s box.