Just why is 2010 RFI winner Maurice Kirya about the most relevant young Ugandan musician around? Check this out...
With any little success (a song hit or increased media attention), the first thought on most Ugandan musicians’ mind would be to hold a cash generating album launch. Not that that is bad. We all gotta eat. But that is not what Maurice Kirya is doing.
This Saturday at the National Theatre, Maurice Kirya will be meeting up and coming ambitious young musicians, those interested in any sort of career to do with music and the arts. And entry is free! At the National Theatre green room…
In honour of that magnanimous gesture…running a piece I wrote 2/3months ago…on meeting Kirya again-
2010 RFI Discoveries Winner Maurice Kirya is back in Kampala after a 2 months African tour that seemed like 4. For the band & the experiences they went through, when you talk to them, it actually seemed like 6. & I can’t stop listening to Coldplay’s Viva La Vida (tale of fallen monarchs, dead dreams & return to humility.) a talk with Kirya will always do that. It took a 25 year old Kirya to teach this 30 year old blogger, talk of art does not matter, it is the done art that matters. (A bad book is better than no book at all. Really?) Then after a 3 months not meeting (all of us a year older), again, where is the art?
Is this Maurice Kirya’s importance to Ugandan music? To Ugandan art? Art yes, because Maurice is not just about the music. He is a whole package whose silhouettes often disguise from view he is more than just a singer. He could be a designer, from clothes, to lifestyle, to how fully and usefully live your life; a leader who can enthuse even those older than him, who had dreams but dared not follow them, because experience and years before had knocked them down again and again, like the bloodied Kampala rioter for a better life who finally realises to stay alive, stay down, don’t provoke the ‘Red Tops’ anymore-stay down.
So Maurice Kirya is back in Kampala, in yet another dramatic entrance. They seem dramatic. Each time he has left Uganda and come back, two years in a row now (for this blogger, this reporter, at least), he has come back just when Kampala & Uganda seemed about to catch fire. When all our breath was held, in terror, in anxiety, on our minds a what’s next? After the July 11, 2010 bombings & now after the April 11, 2011 Walk to Work demonstrations prominently led by FDC party leader Dr Kizza Besigye. Bloody marker events in Uganda’s history, in the NRM government reign we all know, somehow, are just heralds, chart maps to more turmoil and blood to be shed on the way. To this mind, Maurice like the soothing balm reminding, art can live, art exists, for this reason-it is not divorced.
He is done with RFI honour tour and when you talk to him, you get a feeling he is not too sure of what’s next for him. But it is a terrified what’s next that haunts him, in Good African Coffee at Lugogo bypass musing, it is a liquor blues infinite possibilities what’s next, trying to decide what to start with, but not leave anything behind either. You can sense him wondering, should the Maurice Kirya Experience be revived, or should we be more audacious and go for the Maurice Kirya once or twice a year Music Festival-a Maurice Kirya festival, wow! Will the music fans buy that? Isn’t it a bit of over reaching? Or are we just under estimating and they are ready? But what about the Maurice Kirya thank you concert? Supposed to be an aesthetic experience of the heights no Ugandan musician has yet attempted, Michael Jackson levels of stage complexity, every last happening detail forethought? A stadium level Namugongo martyrs pilgrims’ mass devotion with the Opera ballet intimacy of indoors?
We could do all that and more!
Maurice Kirya is back in town.
& I’m listening to Coldplay’s Viva La Vida (it’s a celebration of life).