Thursday, August 21, 2008

Shaggy Heating Up Uganda

Saturday, August 9 saw renowned musician Shaggy turning up the heat at the Passa Passa- Stand Up, Step Up and Stay Up concert at Lugogo Cricket oval. Shaggy billed for international hits like Wild Tonight, Strength Of A Woman, Angel, Bombastic, Hey Sexy Lady, and others, is on his third visit to Uganda in 10 years. The entertainer touched down at Entebbe last Tuesday night at 8pm decked in denim jeans, a stripped white Adidas jacket and cap, Shaggy came through the ordinary section of Entebbe airport with his 18-man entourage.
With a simple demeanour, he exchanged courtesies with fans who could not keep their distance bringing attention to the dancehall ace for a few minutes before he was led to a waiting Mercedes Benz.
The fans had not gotten enough yet and penetrated security to have a few shots with the star or have him sign a few autographs before the police siren led the convoy as Shaggy was chauffeured to Kampala. Shaggy who has held concerts in Kampala in 1998 and 2003 is currently on a two and half months world tour that ends in September.
“Uganda is very special to me. It is kind of irresistible. Fans are so enthusiastic. You’ve always been supporters of our music and it’s always been a pleasure to come back to Uganda,” Shaggy told a press briefing last Wednesday before causing chuckles after denying being the king of dancehall.
“I am Mr. Lover lover and the girls dem wine,” he shot back to a question about his relationship status, before going on about his special fondness with Uganda and a possibility of hooking up with Ugandan woman if the dice favoured them.
Currently in a relationship “with this beautiful woman who’s keeping me busy”, Shaggy says he is not yet married and has reason for holding on before he can commit.
“I am not married and I think I am unfortunate (chuckles). It’s hard to be with me because I’m married to my music. If they came into my life, they’d be my mistress. Because they’ll always come second best,” Shaggy, called Mr Bombastic after his global chartbuster added.
Asked what his all time favourite song is from his collection, the 39-year-old Jamaican born but US raised artiste revealed that Big Up remains his favourite personal song.
“It is my classic and I did it with Rayvon. It was done in 1991 but that to me, has been my favourite and has recurrence,” he added. That’s not to say that his is a collection of music for fun and pomp. “On every album I have done, I have made sure I have a thanksgiving song,” Shaggy says.
“I believe in God and you got to give thanks. I am a fortunate person. I have travelled the world and been to some of the world’s most remote places.” Shaggy demonstrates this with reference to some of his songs like Repent in which he preaches repentance, citing cases like man deciding another man’s fate claiming power in their God’s name.
Shaggy who shared his life story from humble beginnings, was born in one of the ghettos in downtown Jamaica to a mother, journalist who moved to US during his early life. Later on, he joined the military as “my easiest way out”, during the Gulf war in which he confesses it wasn’t about just learning how to handle the gun but learning some of the life lessons.
“It wasn’t just about the war horrors, it changed my life. It made me appreciate the finer things in life.” Perhaps one of the finer things was an opening into the music world.
“Every start comes from some inspiration.” The start was no easy walk but with inspiration from Supercat and Yellowman, Shaggy persisted. Today, he’s managed to cut out his niche as an artiste with a not so traditional type of dancehall.
He says he tries to do different types of music, from jazz, rock; pop, reggae and dancehall, which he says, have defined him and explain his longevity in the game.
Five years since his last concert at New Year’s Eve at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Shaggy thinks so much has changed, especially at the spot where he met the press, at Kampala Serena Hotel. “Man, it wasn’t this big. This was Nile Hotel when I last came here.”Source:

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