You have danced to songs by different artistes, but never taken time to salute the brains behind those sounds and lyrics. Well, meet SAMA SOJAH, a young singer/songwriter behind songs by artistes including Bebe Cool, Winnie Nwagi and others. He told Nathan Atiluk about music and what drives him.
Sama Sojah. Is that your real name?
[My real name is] Kizito Ivan Tony, a 25-year-old Ugandan born and raised in Mubende. I’m the second of seven children of Pastor Charles Kizito and Irene Nakato Mulindwa.
Your name is not so common on the entertainment scene; when did you join the music industry?
I chose to begin promoting my music officially after school, which was early this year. But I have been doing music for a long time. I grew up in church as an instrumentalist and performer.
When are you most comfortable; singing or songwriting...?
Those two work hand-in-hand. I mean, they work better combined and it is a blessing to have them both. In the first place, I sell the music in demo version, after recording it. It’s just a matter of choice which one to sell and which one not to.
What music genre do you sing with, and is it the only one you pen songs for?
Reggae and dancehall – speaking professionally – are my genres, but I would say I’m versatile. It’s not different whether I sing or write a song; I just ensure I deliver my best.
What are some of the hit songs you have written?
I have written some good songs for some big names in the music industry. I wrote Amaaso by Vinka and Nwagi, Ndiwuwo and Nsirikamu by Bebe Cool, Amazina by Fik Roots and Stabua Natooro, and Akaama done by Sama Sojah, among others. I have also written for Grenade Official.
What you are trying to accomplish (being a perfect singer and perfect songwriter) is something unique to just a handful of Ugandan artistes, most notably, Mowzey Radio (RIP)...
Radio was a legend and he will forever be a legend who will never be replaced. We can’t be the same. I’m just another creative person in a different version in the music industry.
What are your processes of writing for an artiste?
Every writer has their own way of working on projects, but most of the songs I have sold have attracted the buyers on their own. They listen to the demos in studios and call in for business. It’s literally my vibe.
Uganda is on lockdown. Has your business suffered too?
Yes, like you can see everything is on standstill. Limited business at the moment, because no artiste is looking for you to get a song, but we shall hopefully get through this.
Without mentioning Mowzey Radio, which songwriters do you find immensely talented?
Myself, Dokta Brian, Shena Skies and many more. All I can say is that Uganda has got so much talent that needs to be discovered.
You must have gone to some good schools...
I went to Mubende Parents’ School for primary, Mt St Henry’s High School Mukono and Makerere University.