So it was one of these days when I visited Maro at his Volume-Up
Studio at Tirupati Mazima Mall that I couldn’t leave the place without catching a quick interview with him. Yes, of course I won’t go through details of how it all happened, but what you need to know mostly is here. Because many a times you will run into a musician and you will realize you made the wrong move. Maybe you walked a little too fast you should have stepped back a little. But hey, that’s not Ronald Maro Kyabazinga (#Maro). At least, not that’s not the character that I know. Apparently he is the only musician on my list so-far who does not do drugs of any kind. By this I mean even booze/alcohol included. Yes. Maro doesn’t booze. I see you reading this thinking to yourself that you know an upcoming who smokes, drinks, and perhaps insults because who denies? Dude is gonna be a star and whatever… Ha-ha. (This gets some Girls worried Maro won’t buy them anything when they run into him at the Club. Don’t worry. Maro will. He will get you the drink you want, he just won’t drink)
- Me: What do you want the people to know mostly at the moment?
Maro: The Nziranago Concert on 23rd September 2017 at Dam Waters opposite Lafta. Yes, that is a must attend. Even though, I think this is a general question and the reason I am saying its general is that, I would love the people to know about the concert, for people to know about the brand MARO, what I represent, and I would love my people to be represented in a way that I am trying to do it. A different way of representation ie through music, art, etc, So I am trying to show them that and I Want people to also remember it. To remember the moments. The concert, and how many people were brought together because of the concert. The concert is not the D-Day on 23rd, The concert starts from the tours we have been doing in ten districts of Busoga. Districts of Kidera,Hospitals, Having matches with local teams, Having upclose, one on one when I am not on stage. So we went to Buyenge, Kamuli, Luka, Mayuge, Bugiri, then we go to Namayingo, Namutumba, Jijnja and Iganga. We are also doing CSR, forexample there is a kid we are giving a scholarship for primary etc. So what I want people to know is why I am doing what I am doing.
- Okay, what does Nziranago mean and what inspired you to do this particular song?
Nziranago is a message to the youths and the old but mainly to the youths. The sentence Balibona Nziranago in Luganda is Balinda lwe ndiba sigalina, and in English it is, they will wait until I am nolonger in control. Sigalina Amanyi, I don’t have the energy or the influence. So the old tend to tell us things but we take them for granted because the old are simply the old. In this song particulary, I am in the seat or shoes of an old man or woman and I am saying, they are waiting for the time when I don’t have influence, then they will tarnish my name, sell my land and food etc. So they are waiting for that moment when I am old and I can’t even dance. That is the message in the song. Because, the youths tend to not listen till you are on a death bed and then they start to say, ‘I wish I knew’.
What Inspired me to write the song, as you pick from the second verse, I talk about my grandpa. He was a very wise man but the kids didn’t listen to him say some things. So at the end, when he was on a death bed, he wrote a will and testament, trying to defend his work/worth. He signed on them and this left a message that however much people are separated, they can still listen. Because in his weak moments no one cared but when they read the will and testaments’, they started to realise that he had been right telling them whatever he had yet they hadn’t paid attention. That’s what inspired because I learned that one can make decisions and take control of another’s life without the other party realizing the case.
- Is there, among your songs, any that you would pick up on as your favourite and why?
Yeah, I have Biwewo and Kyokoba because, these two songs are a turning point. When I did Biwewo and went to Jinja, people asked me if I was really a Musoga and I also walked on foot to promote this song myself in Busoga. I went to Jinja, and the next months I went back, it was all-over and everyone was wondering who the guy was. Later, I bring up a piece in Luganda and then I go back to bring Kyokoba and then my audience realised that I was not joking. I was a Musoga, I loved my country side. I loved where I come from. That’s why I love those two songs.
- Which Ugandan and International Artistes inspire you? Would you like to be like them?
Well, talking about Uganda, the person who inspired me was Maurice Kirya and he still inspires me because he’s still held his game together. He represents himself as a brand. He inspires me and he still my mentor because he didn’t change. He saw me doing music, he still advised me and pulled me closer, unlike other people that I had met. When I was at Cineplex, I was starting out and they could go ‘Man you can sing’ but when I made the first song, they started to push me away in a way. Yeah. So it’s Maurice Kirya.
Then internationally, well I don’t know. I love John Legend but the thing is, I am inspired by people like Anthony Hamilton… I feel like they are magical the way they sing (that particular song called Carlin). I still believe what they did to me was magical.
- ME: SO, WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE LIKE THEM?
MARO: YEAH. ABSOLUTELY! Absolutely! It’s just that I am now a brand. So I take what I have and use it my way. I am like them in a way, I do things like them, but the way I understand them. For example, we have a lot of musicians who copy exactly what the other guy did. But again, you may not have exactly what the guy has, you may not look like him, you don’t really have what he has, but if you learn from him, the why not incorporate that into the economy that have presently? Bring it down to the society that you are living in. You take what you can afford. Or you take what you have and just pick his way of thinking. His perspective.
- Is your singing a full-time job?
Uhm, well yeah. It is my full time job. I have been singing and I gave my life to music since 2007 and I have been living my life like that.
- What do you use your extra time for?
Extra time, I am researching on how to Make myself better, I watch comedy, I watch movies. I am a YouTube fun, and yeah. Basically that’s it.
(ME: You said you like movies, what’s your favorite movie?
MARO: Ha-ha. I don’t know if you watched ‘THE DEPARTED’?
ME: ohw… Silence.(Ha-ha… You should have seen me gazing at the ceiling. I have not watched this one yet.)
- Maro, so many young people look up to you, what words of wisdom do you have for them?
Young people should focus and when you say focus sometimes we tend to focus on the harder things. But sometimes there is an easier way. It’s like saying, I want to buy a car. And a big one. Why not start with a smaller one? I want to be big in East Africa, why don’t you start with your city? Your county? the parish, the country, etc. So dream big, but start small and this goes out to even those who are trying to invest somewhere. Business can be hard but you can start small. We all started small. That’s the advice I can give them. And also, stay in school. School is good. It may not be the knowledge out of there but how about the knowledge to survive in a society. So stay in school, work hard.
Other Musicians coming with Maro for Nziranago Concert.
Okay, so you have heard what Maro has got to offer and you know who else is coming with him, now let’s meet at Dam Towers on 23rd September for the NziraNago Concert. And don’t forget to share this with your colleagues. It’s Nziranago.