The year 2008 has been good to Peter Miles. Already. By his own confession. “This year I managed to buy my dream car. Since I was a kid I have always wanted to own a Mercedes Benz.The model did not matter. This year I have finally done it! I have bought an ML Class Mercedes Benz and I am so happy! 2008 has been good,” Miles gushes.
But that is not all the Entebbe-based singer has to report. “For a long time I wanted to put up a structure. I wanted to build a house of my own. This year I have managed to do something on that. I am on the way and I’m happy with the progress I have made. This year has been about getting some goals that I had set myself in life,” the dancehall music star says.
In his Roadblock Studios, Miles has been quietly but steadily crafting an assault on the international market, while ensuring that his Ugandan fans do not feel neglected with a slew of recorded songs set to hit the music market.
With Olabika Bulungi, Destiny already in the clubs and shooting radio music charts, Miles has been a constant presence on the local music scene in a year that has seen younger musicians challenge the established heavyweights.
Starting out in dancehall when the genre was barely understood in Uganda, Miles continues to go his own way.
“I’m working on two albums right now. I am going to release a local album, some of the songs you have already heard. Then I am also doing an album for the international market. I have recorded some songs for it too.”
That is the other piece of big news in Miles’s 2008 calendar.
“I am doing some collabos with the dancehall icon General Levy, the guy who sang Incredible. We have already recorded two songs Ooh Aah and Kunta Kinte, and we are going to do some more. I came up with the idea for Ooh Aah and Levy came up with the idea of Kunta Kinte which is about African slavery.”
Miles is clearly excited about working with a musician he considers “one of the pioneers of dancehall music to the mainstream market. He was among the musicians that came right after Shaba Ranks, Chaka Demus and Maxi Priest. He is one of the greats!”
There is more reason for Miles’s excitement.
“I first met his former manager when I was in the United Kingdom, October 2007. I asked his former manager to listen to me and he liked my vibe, so he did the necessary connection. Levy felt my vibe too. They were amazed that my level could be attained in Africa.”
Consequently, 2008 might have been a good year but 2009 might be a great year for Peter Miles. He is planning a pilgrimage to the land of all his icons: Jamaica, “to see how the industry works, to get partnerships,” in the first quarter of 2009.
He has one musician particularly in his sights, Richie Spice, who he wants to do some music with and is already in touch with his management team. Then there is Deely Ranks, a producer and dancehall artiste who has worked with Sean Paul.
But back to General Levy for the moment, and that international album soon to be launched. Apart from Ooh Aah and Kunta Kinte which are already done, Miles has also lined up African Child, which “talks about corrupt African leaders who are misusing our resources at the expense of the poor, especially the child.”
Participating in the G8 Conference in Germany in 2007 and performing before an audience of 120,000 people – one of only three African artistes – has whet Peter Miles’ appetite for international recognition.
Perhaps it is of significance that he is based in Entebbe with the airport in his backyard; he is planning to use it more. “From the time I started singing, I always aimed at being more than just a Ugandan singer; I have always wanted to be an African musical ambassador. 2009 will see me do that.”