The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Sandy Soul Brimming With Raw Talent

It was surreal watching gospel singer Sandy Soul perform at Design Agenda bar and restaurant in Kampala.

Despite the noise from a nearby wedding in the Kampala Capital City Authority gardens, once one settled down at Design Agenda, the noise was not a problem, despite the fact that Sandy's concert was in the open tented space. But who would continue whining when ushered into a candle-lit setting?

My only problem is that I had turned up alone. I had this entire candle-lit table to myself. Little did I know that the organizers had a surprise in store for those who had turned up solo. It was 9:30pm and Sandy Soul was already on stage backed by a four-man band, Sensation. And it is a matter of time before Sandy and her band get to the top if they continue like this.

But what do you expect of a band that has an experienced producer in the names of Albert Cook Kwesiga. Kwesiga, who intoxicates you with his keyboard skills, is the Watoto church producer. The other instrumentalists include drummer Nehemia Kasika, bassist Roger Sekilime and Mark Langa who is gifted on the horns, which he kept switching from the flute to the saxophone.

As I walked in, the band was playing Joy, one of Sandy Soul's original compositions where Langa and Kwesiga also shone. During an interlude, there was a fashion show featuring girls that have been dominating the runways (among them, Miss South Sudan Uganda, and Miss Uganda Photogenic 2012-2013.)

This was actually the beginning of the surprise. The girls came and went and once all the ten girls were done, the emcee began moving around scouting for lonesome guests. He would then ask guests to pick a number between 1 and 10 and he would bring one of the models to keep them company.

Despite my pleas that I was a married man, the emcee assured me it was intended to make me more comfortable. So, I settled for number one. And guess what; it was Miss Uganda Photogenic, Sophie Melody (Amayo) who was to become my companion that evening.

While this trick worked so well for the bar and restaurant as guests stayed longer spending, it, however, turned the attention away from the band. Sandy Soul, whose real name is Sandra Nankoma, may not be popular yet, but from her performance, the young gospel musician, who is hardly two years in the music industry, is brimming with raw talent.

She did about eight of her own compositions before crowning the night at 10pm with renditions of Ringo Madlingozi's Sondela and Busy Signal's Nice To Know You. Sandy's music is soulful and funky combining elements of gospel music, rhythm and blues.

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