Ugandan Musicians Eye Movies

The duo plan to scale new heights, with their Switzerland-born manager Amelie Lafond, who doubles as their publicist. Da Twinz are now eyeing the movie industry. And why not?

(Sewagudde with, with flashy smile, and Muggaga, surrounded by fans).

Uganda-born Dan Sewagudde and Denis Muggaga, known as Da Twinz, have been performing even since they were young students at Namilyango Junior Church Choir, St. Henry’s College Kitovu-Masaka, Namasagali High and at the University, in Uganda. Their latest album “The Fimbo� has tracks punching the airwaves on many FM and TV Stations both in East Africa and in Jamaica.

The duo plan to scale new heights, with their Switzerland-born manager Amelie Lafond, who doubles as their publicist. Da Twinz are now eyeing the movie industry. And why not? Dan Sewagudde alias “Deano� has already hosted Top artistes from North America on the Big Ben program aired every Wednesday on BEN TV on SKY’s channel 148 presenting Africa show. The Black Star News’s Norman S. Miwambo, caught-up with the duo and their manager recently at an Italian restaurant in London.

BSN: When did you realize your songs were thrilling?
Denis: —As early as our early days at Namasagali High—University and at the Royal wedding and in fact we performed together with Henry Katamba (author of Omutanda affunye omubeezi) on the same stage, which earned us some acknowledgment.
Dan: With our first hit single ‘Nafeero’ (Baby Chana), this was actually monotonous with CBS FM radio show Kalisoliso and made headlines, then ‘Mudomo Mudomo’.

BSN: What is your secret to a long and happy combination?
Denis: We are so entwined with Amelie and we are almost the same person. We are in a brand of partnership—we are the exact opposite of each other. She is an advocate woman—devoted to crack any element that would like to take advantage of us.
Dan: Amelie is moderate and very strict with her—assistance and our assurance is that the skies will be the limit. We are exactly the opposite of the perceptions by many people around us.  We take care of the tough stuff and she takes care of the gentle stuff, so it works perfectly for all of us—a united group.
Denis: She is the only person in the world about whom absolutely nobody has anything bad to say. There’s nothing bad you can say about her. We are utterly, ideal, wonderful persons. We get all the stick because there’s quite a lot you can say about us or her, but she is wonderful. 
Amelie: They know what they want, they don’t need to compete. If you believe in your self, there is no need. So if you’re confident and believe in yourself, the competition doesn’t come in your way.
BSN: Where are you heading?
Denis: We walk towards success, fan-based artistes through understanding. So we are heading through growing and marching to the International scene. With the cultural attitude we are striving to raise the standard and knowledge, part of which we have achieved some, but we are still hungry and possibly as we have told you the skies could be the limit.
Dan: Presenting an expansion in music by depositing songs from elsewhere that have deep roots of meanings that cater for the entire African continent and the world at large.

BSN: Who is the brainchild of this wonderful idea?
Dan: We had to think ahead, then set-up Record label, Music, Visual and TV and so far we have achieved that.

BSN: How do you cope-up with this industry that full of competition and artistes?
Denis: Just ourselves. Not struggle. We do what we want and what we can. We are not working for competition but for our fans. And when one is confident of himself like we are confident of ourselves, we need not to worry of with the so-called competition.
Dan: Our brains are not static, we are dynamic and there is a lot to do and give to our fans. Though, it is a bit complex to bestow the fans with music that touches their souls’ concentration. We think that would be our challenge but not fear of competition from other artistes.

BSN: What age group are you targeting?
Dan: Our fans range from 15 years to the elders. Our target is wide—in fact it wider and both categories of age group are our fans. 

BSN: How and when did you hype-up this idea? 
Denis: About three years ago, we wanted to put some barriers to those who want to manipulate the artistes. That is the reason we want to be independent possibly with some guidance from Amelie.

BSN: How do you see yourselves in the next two years?
Dan: Oh, in two years, a movie. More albums, right now we are working on a movie, which will be out soon.

BSN: What are the major hurdles you encounter in this industry?
Denis: War of words. Some of those promoters that dictate or decide the sales and who decides for the album to come out. That is what we want to put to a halt to. We have managed to suppress it by recording company—building independence.

BSN: What role are you playing?
Amelie: These are friends whose work I appreciate. And I understand their work. Then I’m their public relations manager is my role. So my major role is to give guidance and advise them where necessary.

BSN: Lastly, what is on your menu?
Denis: Uncut food. What is happening to you on a daily basis in one’s life. That is behind the stage, which is unseen on the TV. We have already the new album Fimbo which came-out on October 2, 2006. So, the movie is following and coming soon.
Dan: With Fimbo we went further than the African continent to Latin America by embracing other artistes living here in the UK. Naila Bossa UK-based and Jamaican and Tanzanian Ali Baba and Bushoke respectively. 

Miwambo writes for The Black Star News from London.

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