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Zari Hassan advises Ugandan musicians to learn from South African and Nigerian genres to go global


Ugandan socialite and businesswoman Zari Hassan has advised Ugandan musicians to do research and learn a few things about genres of music done by South African and Nigerian artists if they want their sound to go international.

Kidandali is a stylistic music genre featuring the use of native sounds and samples from Uganda. Kidandali is a word from the Ganda language which in translation can mean “local party” or “celebration”. One of the biggest Kidandali artists currently is Alien Skin.

The issue of music identity has been severely discussed in open spaces locally with music critics citing how Kidandali cannot go international.

Zari Hassan, formerly a musician herself, couldn’t agree more.

In a video that is making rounds online, Zari is heard emphasizing how Kidandali cannot enable Ugandan music to attain international recognition.

She advises local artists to try out different genres done by South Africans, Jamaicans, and Nigerians to stand a chance of breaking out beyond the Ugandan borders.

“Ugandans need to research more about what South Africans, Nigerians, and Jamaicans are doing differently (about their music). If they can look at all those countries and genres of music, and use that to twitch a few things about Ugandan music, it may work,” Zari said.

“Otherwise, we are stuck to the Kidandali style of music but it cannot cross beyond the Ugandan borders. Musicians here need to look for a way to spread their influence beyond Uganda but Kidandali isn’t taking us anywhere,” she added.

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Josh Ruby is an Editor with high interest and knowledge in the Ugandan entertainment space, an industry he has been actively part of since 2010. Leads to breaking stories are welcome!

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