When I call Myko Ouma up, I expect to hear one of his songs such as Club Banger as his caller tune.
Almost every artiste I contact has one of their own songs as their caller tune, but to my surprise, Ouma’s rings to Judith Babirye’s Nzijukira. When Ouma finally picks up, he tells me to find him at Serena hotel poolside.
He is wearing blue jeans, a black T-shirt and black jacket and has ordered for water with ice. Ouma is calm and does not look worried about his back-to-back concerts this weekend.
“I love preparing in time, the rehearsals have been going on, that is why I have time to tie up all the loose ends,” he explains his not being in panic mode.
About his choice of Nzijukira as a caller tune and not one of his songs, Ouma says: “Without God and divine protection, I wouldn’t be where I am today; that is why I want everyone who calls me to remember that.”
Ouma will be in the Myko Ouma Season II concerts at Kati Kati Gardens this Friday and Saturday.
He is a renowned figure in jazz and contemporary world music. Having studied Western music at Makerere College School, Ouma has been investigating traditional Ugandan instrumentation for years. After Makerere College, he focused on the guitar, with which he can produce almost every sound.
With one song, the guitar takes you deep into the Acholi plains, and with the next one, you are in a banging nightclub – the reason why he has backed many artistes at their concerts. Together with long-time colleague Herbert Kinobe, Ouma co-founded Soul Beat Band Africa and in February 2010, he released his self-titled debut album, Myko Ouma.
Last year, he hosted his first concert, Myko Ouma Live: Season 1 at Serena hotel. The concert introduced him as a unique brand in Ugandan music and this year he is set to take it a notch higher in the Season II project.
Fans will get a chance to listen to most of the new material for his new album, Myko Ouma Again, due out next month.
He has lined up a star cast of Maurice Kirya, Brian Mugyenyi, Jude Kiracho, Enygma, Ruyonga, Charmant Mushenga and Pragmo to back him.
“There will also be a surprise performance,” he says.
Tickets are going for Shs 50,000.