Ugandan musician, Daniel Kigozi aka Navio , first came into limelight in 2000 as a member of ‘Klear Kut’ a group keen on making hip-hop a part of Ugandan musical culture. They raised the profile of the Ugandan music industry with some of their songs such as Mind, Body and Soul (2002); the first song from Uganda to be nominated for the Kora Awards, K2 (2003); the first Ugandan song to be played on MTV base, and after a long break Klear Discussion (2008) in collaboration with Percussion Discussion.
In an interview, Navio described his upbringing as a humble one. “We are not that rich, my mother, Maggie Kigozi, brought me up as a single parent from 1994 after my father died when I was still a kid… I hold a Bachelor’s in International Relations and Media Studies.”
He later went solo with his musical career to climb further up the ladder as one of the hottest sensation out of East Africa music industry. But he maintained a strong collaboration with other artistes, as seen in his 16-track album, Half the Legend. Many of his fans affirm that his style of music brought creativity and style into the Ugandan music industry. “His delivery is concise. His creativity solid” writes Ladybrillemag, while describing his dynamic talent.
Asked about the pressure of rapping in Luganda, Navio said “…I’m still building towards the following I had in the Klear Kut/Rukus days. And even then I was using Luganda on every album. I think that “knock out the biggest dude on the block” to get respect, is a thing artists get off on. Even when I wasn’t around I had people trying to pick at any flaw they could find. I’m a graduate. So I’m under no illusions about what my role is. It’s kind of a pity really. In Nigeria, Fela Kuti, Dbanj and M.I will stand on the same stage with no issues. All mostly doing songs in English, but still keeping some of their heritage. They still get support from the local fans. They have 190 million people but are bound together when promoting “one of their boys”.
His recent release includes Respect, Nawuliranga and Raw.
Listen to his song “Nawuliranga”: Nawuliranga Navio ft Frida Ssonko
Image via UgPulse