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Babaluku; Hip hop pioneer traces origins of Ugaflow, and his work with youths

Life & Style

Babaluku; Hip hop pioneer traces origins of Ugaflow, and his work with youths

Babaluku

Silas Balabyekubo aka Babaluku, Babaluku shares his background and his thoughts on the current Hip-Hop landscape in Uganda. He also speaks about his organization Bavubuka Foundation with  Frederick Senkeeto.

Question: Tell us about yourself?

I am the first born of  8 children to the late Pastor & Mrs. Balabyekubo. My musical background started in the church, my dad had his own church, so the musical seed was planted there, singing in Sunday school and the church choir. I migrated from Uganda to Canada with my family at the age of 12, I only returned about 6 years later for my father’s funeral.

Q: How did you get introduced to hip-hop?

Before I left for Canada in the late 1980’s we got introduced to break dancing. That was our first introduction to hip-hop and western culture. We did not know at the time that it was hip-hop, but what we knew is that it was something we liked. I later looked at music as the creative platform to express myself.

Q: How did you actually get actively involved in music production?

After my dad’s funeral, my family went back to Canada, but I stayed in Uganda for an entire year. At the time, writing music became therapeutic to me. I would write, and since my dad had a church, I was having access to all the musical equipment, and we kids would use them for music.

At this time, Peter Miles, the late DJ Momo, and others we all came together as teenagers who loved the music and the culture at the time. We tried many different trends, but we had a liking and focus on hip-hop, and we started doing shows at schools, like Kings College Budo, Busoga College Mwiri,  Mityana S.S., among others. Then we called ourselves Jammed Edition, a collection of young talented guys who loved music, and I was one of the bigger writers in the crew.

Q: Was your brand of art appreciated at the time?

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