Eddy Kenzo, from the streets at the Grammy Awards

Eddy Kenzo, from the streets at the Grammy Awards

Eddy Kenzo, from the streets at the Grammy Awards

“Even the poorest person can succeed”: starting from nothing, an orphan who spent a large part of his youth on the streets, Eddy Kenzo does not hide his pride in having become the first Ugandan singer nominated for the prestigious Grammy Awards.

Selected in the best world music performance category for the ceremony scheduled for February 5 in Los Angeles, the 33-year-old artist, whose real name is Edrisah Musuuza, assures that his nomination left him “speechless”.

“I can’t express my feelings. It’s like I’m dreaming,” says the artist, whose music mixes dancehall and afrobeat.

“This appointment should give hope to the poorest (…) If I did it, they can also get there,” he said in an interview with AFP in his studio in Kampala. , the Ugandan capital.

His childhood was punctuated with drama. Born to a Ugandan father and a Rwandan mother whose family was killed during the 1994 genocide, Eddy Kenzo lost both parents to illness before he was five years old.

As a teenager, he sleeps in the streets of the Ugandan capital, often going to bed hungry. “I suffered as a child,” he says.

Thanks to his perseverance and passion for music, Eddy Kenzo managed to raise funds to release his first song in 2008, “Yannimba” (“He lied to me” in Luganda, a Bantu language spoken in several countries of the Great Lakes region).

“Make people happy”

Without financial support, snubbed by the radio hosts whom he approaches assiduously, his song remains confidential.

Eddy Kenzo made a name for himself two years later with the hit “Stamina”, which quickly became a staple of private parties and discos.

The beginning of the ascent

In 2011, he won the Newcomer of the Year award at the Pearl of Africa Music Awards.

His international audience grew in 2014 with the release of “Sitya Loss” (“I’m not afraid of loss”), a catchy song about his childhood and his resilience.

“My dream was to make people happy. When someone dances, they become happy, feel good, laugh, feel loved, get rid of stress and forget about the depressing problems in the world,” he explains.

“I also wanted to become a beacon of hope for those who despair,” he continues.

In the years that followed, he won several awards, including a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award in 2018, a BET Award in 2015 and several All Africa Music Awards.

The artist takes a new step with his nomination for the Grammy Awards with “Gimme Love”, a title in English and Luganda in collaboration with the American Matt B. Four other artists are nominated, including the Nigerian Burna Boy.

“If I win, it will be an honor for my fans, my culture and all those who have marked my life”, he assures, impatient to go to the “City of Angels”.


Despite this dazzling trajectory, this father of two children has not forgotten his difficult beginnings and is keen to show the way to other artists.

Founder of Big Talent Entertainment, a studio located in a poor and densely populated area of ​​Kampala, Eddy Kenzo trains and helps young boys and girls from the neighboring slums to develop their musical talents.

Far from the pomp and glamor of the Grammy Awards, Eddy Kenzo assures that he does not want to be intoxicated by success.

And stay the same, in particular by continuing to sing in Luganda, while English would offer a greater audience: “I want to promote my culture and my country through music”.

Author : Senewebnews –

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