Meet John Kay a young prominent song writer, vocal trainer, music director and manager, also the brain behind the trending hit song SIBYAMUKISA by Rema Namakula.
John Kay: My birth name is Katerega John born on April 21 to Col. Ssegamwenge Fred and Mrs. Solome Ssegamwenge in Nansana in Wakiso District.
Inspiration into Music
John Kay: I wont say I had interest in music as a teenager because back in school I was so much into debating and poetry till Primary 7 when I fell in love with music. This was after I joined Namirembe Christian fellowship lead by Professor Simeon Kayiwa.
John Kay: I remember we had Dr Tee (song Factory) and Silver Kyagulanyi. But my turning point was when Silver sang his song Guma during a Sunday service. I sang the song everywhere I went and I wanted to be like Silver and decided to write my own songs.
When I gathered enough courage, I sang in church and to my surprise I was greatly supported by the members who collectively gave me 120,000/=
John Kay: I was only a child then – in Primary 7 but I remember my dad telling me ‘You can sing’ His words encouraged me so much but I had to pass my exams and the perception of Musicians at that time was that they were thugs “Bayaye.”
The impact of Silver Kyagulanyi
John Kay: For secondary school, i joined Old Kampala S.S.S where I served in scripture union choir singing my own and Silver’s songs. I was actually nicknamed Young Silver.
As I grew stronger in music I was asked to help write songs for my church choir which I did impressively. I approached Dr Tee and Silver Kyagulanyi.
Silver said I needed, Humility, Fear of God and Believing in myself. I took it serious because I wanted to become like him.
John Kay: I have written for;
- Hindu Asha – Kankwagale, Nze akwagala
- Spice Diana – Unbelievable 2012.
- Maureen Nantume – Kalala, Kisusunku,
- Moreen Kabasita – Obadengawa
- Hurry Hurry – Able Tasha,
- Sibyamukisa – Rema namakula,k
- Iryn Namubiru – Yadaaki
- Many upcoming artists
John Kay’s take on Uganda’s music
John Kay: It’s too competitive with lots of artists growing up everyday. Back then we only had a few – The Big Three but this year only even the so called underdogs have managed to shake up the industry. Examples are Sheeba, Winnie Nwagi, King Saha and many more and our music has proven relevant in the world with our musicians collaborating with international musicians and being nominated for Mtv, Afrimma and Mama awards.
Advise to upcoming Musicians
John Kay: I will tell them the same things Silver Kyagulanyi told me, Humility, Feraring God and belief in oneself. The young artist should not battle the established ones rather do their best and things will work out.
John Kay: I think am favorably competing because I have been nominated for best songwriter of the year with some of Uganda’s best songwriters which makes me relevant in the industry.
John Kay: I have projects with Carol Nantongo, Julie Mutesasira ,Diana Kabitte, and many more. I believe I will be the biggest brand in Uganda’s songwriting industry.
By Titus muhwezi
Online Media for Youth