Michael ‘Ross’ Kakooza has been off the music scene since he released Follow back in 2013.
Follow was supposed to be his successful comeback, but that did not happen; and before the Aka Dope show last week, few had heard from the dancer/singer.
For a show that has thrived on introducing audiences to acts they have not been exposed to, having a headliner was relatively new but welcomed, considering it was a long-lost artiste.
The show kicked off with the Aka Dope band with Esther Ariho alias Essie taking the audience through a number of her original compositions and a few covers – her strongest point is her amazing vocal range.
Farooq, a newer vocalist that is fast-getting an audience especially among those that enjoy live music, followed Essie. An impressive performer, Farooq produces a hybrid of Maurice Kirya’s Mwoyo with a little touch of blues and has a place in the industry if he keeps at it.
But the best of the night only came when one Marsha David, a reggae-afro fusion artiste, took to the stage; she performed songs no one knew, yet they sounded like they had been with us for long.
“She’s so good and I can’t imagine that I don’t even know who she is,” noted one of the patrons.
More exciting vocalists including Clim, electro/rock artiste Bero and renowned backup artiste Sheebah Mwiza later all performed, with different levels of energy; some took the audience to church, while others brought the party home.
Like all the Aka Dope shows, it is never a complete one without a balance; this time there were two rap acts – 92XEL, a trio made up of producer Simon Elly, spoken- word artiste Mal-X and rapper The Suspekt 92, performing together for the first time. They were commendable and had the audience eating out of their palms by the time they finished their showcase.
Then it was time for Michael Ross. With many songs to his name, it was right to be excited. He took to the stage with Take Your Clothes Off, singing, dancing and aptly reminding us that he is still interested in being Uganda’s Usher Raymond.
Not gifted with the best vocals, Michael Ross is impressive with his simple voice tone and dance moves. His best song of the day was Yooyo, which he sang for a random girl in the audience.
Through songs such as Nalulungi, Senorita and Dream Girl, he got the audience to sing along; sadly, by 11:54 when he left the stage, he had not performed Follow, Yo The One, It’s Over Now or even Nze Akwagala, but he had still made a statement.
He is still alive.