The Best Afro Soul Artists In Uganda

The Best Afro Soul Artists In Uganda 2020


Afro soul music to some people is a blend of peace, a reflection of struggle to others and relaxation redefined which is why in Ug its often referred to as ‘mwoyo’, meaning the soul.

Uganda has a multitude of talented music artists and it’s no wonder it has been ranked as number 3 in Africa.

Afro soul is a soothing music genre that combines soft soul music, a variety of musical instruments and African sound. Its usually deep, emotional and full of relatable messages. Its biggest characteristic is its similarity to jazz and use of band instruments.

Now that we have an idea about what it is, this is Spurzine’s top 8 list of the best Afro soul artists in Uganda.

Uganda’s best Afro Soul artists to date

8. Maureen Rutabingwa

The Best Afro Soul Artists In Uganda - Mo Roots

Maureen Rutabingwa (Mo Roots)

Maureen Rutabingwa popularly known as Mo Roots is a multi-talented instrumentalist, singer and song writer who is currently Uganda’s best female saxophonist playing with Qwela Band for the last 3 years.

Mo Roots songs are like a war cry and appeal to those that are moved by deep instrumental soul music. Her hits like “My Woman She Criesabout women empowerment, “Moonlight and “Yellow Again” (Kyenvu) which talks about race and colour are one of her best productions.

7. Sandra Nankoma

The Best Afro Soul Artists In Uganda - Sandra Nankoma

Sandra Nankoma

Sandra Nankoma was once known by the stage name of Sandy Soul. She is a recording artist, song writer, composer, actor and performer of afro soul and jazz music. Her hit songs include, “Mercedes”, “Mwisuka” and Kaddugala“.

Nankoma’s voice is distinctive and with powerful vocals which make her unique and among the best when it comes to jazz and soul ballads.

6. Maurice Kirya

The Best Afro Soul Artists In Uganda - Maurice Kirya

Maurice Kirya

It would be a surprise if Maurice Kirya hadn’t made to this list. Having a vast wealth of experience in the music industry and credited as a pioneer of soul music in Uganda, he has become a household name in East Africa.

Having 5 albums under his belt, some of Kirya’s best songs include the likes of “Hold On”, “Horses In The Sky”, “Insane”, “Sent from Above”, “The Blue Dress”. The list is endless.

5. Jackie Akello

The Best Afro Soul Artists In Uganda - Jackie Akello

Jackie Akello

Jackie Akello is another powerful sensation when it comes to afro soul. She is a contemporary performer and song writer that can spit out music in Acholi, Luganda, Swahili, and English.

Jackie Akello is known for her hit songs like the love ballard Amari, Samanya with Levixone and the war-themed pop hit “Apwoyo”. She is an Acholi woman from northern Uganda and most of her songs talk about the suffering of the Acholi both during and after the Lord’s Resistance Army war.

4. Tshila

The Best Afro Soul Artists In Uganda - Sarah Tshila

Sarah Tshila

The award-winning Ugandan songwriter and record producer Sarah Tshila may be one of the most underrated artists in Uganda. We say this with confidence because when you listen to her music, you will realise how talented she is not just vocally but how she uses her skills to produce artistic and yet powerful engaging sound.

Tshila was once a member of the hip-hop group Bataka Squad which makes her music even more desirable as she has the ability to blend rap-like style into Afro-soul.  Some of her great hits include “City of Lights”, “Sipping from The Nile”, “Khube Atweela”, “Beera Nange”, “Namboozo” and “Scientific Love”.

3. Apio Moro

The Best Afro Soul Artists In Uganda - Apio Moro

Apio Moro

Apio Moro’s music transcends time and is a representation of what true afro soul music is all about. The talented Japadhola songstress and songwriter hails from Eastern Uganda. Her music inspires continuous self-discovery and acceptance.

Some of Moro’s best songs include “Atiya”, “Obia”, “Ononsonyiwa” and “Slave. If you love music that has some of that folk feeling with a blended soul touch of band instruments then she is the right choice for you.

2. Kenneth Mugabi

The Best Afro Soul Artists In Uganda - Kenneth Mugabi

Kenneth Mugabi

If you haven’t heard of Kenneth Mugabi before, then you have been missing out on good soul music. Apart from being a multi-talented songwriter, recording artist and an amazing performer, he is also able to sing in various languages such as Luganda, Runyankole and Luo.

Mugabi so far has two albums, Kibunomu (2013) and Ugandan (2019) and is well known for his enriching soul music that relates to daily struggles, hopes, and joys of life. His best hits include “Naki”, “Nambi”, “Oliwa to mention but a few.

1. Shifah Musisi

The Best Afro Soul Artists In Uganda - Shifah Musisi

Shifah Musisi

Shifah Musisi makes it to the top of this list. Her songs entail a lot of storytelling coupled with her guitar playing skills, deep lyrics and strong voice. Some of her best tracks include “Emirembe”, “Ebilowozo”, “Endongo Yange” and “Sanyu Lyange.”

She is also a fashion designer and hopes her music can inspire anyone who listens to it.


Also read: UG’s Top Female Hip Hop Artists of 2020


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Allan Bangirana

Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre & Spur Magazine. He is passionate about tech, games and occasionally writes about entertainment, lifestyle and so much more.

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