22 January 2013

Uganda: The Bahattiz Quartet - an Upcoming Group to Reckon With

Meeting these beautiful sisters for an interview, my prayer for them was that they survive the rapid downward spiral our Ugandan music girl groups are suffering- breakups. But they reassured me that theirs is a bond born of sisterhood.

"We are sisters who love one another and we are not hungry for money, the reason most singing groups break up. We sing majorly to uplift people's spirits and inspire them. The money can come in at some point, but it is not our primary aim. That is why with prayer, we shall go all the way," they said.

The Bahattiz singing quartet, music entails gospel, love and humanitarian causes. The Bahattiz girls: Sylvia Nsimire Bahatti, Sera Bahattiz, Patience Francine Bahatti and Rashel Flavor Bahattiz, moved to Uganda nine years ago at the height of political instability in their country Congo.

Surprisingly, some of their songs incorporate Luganda although they sing mostly in English and French, languages that have endeared them to Canadians, where they moved weeks ago, while pursuing their studies. Their music collection,which is available at a number of Kampala churches sounds like they have been in the industry for long.

On their maiden six-track album is the rap Don't Give Up. It reminded me of those Lil Romeo rap days though the message di ers. Singing in Luganda fused with French, Don't Give Up encourages one to push harder in life in order to achieve. I was moved particularly by the Luganda rap (probably because I do not know French).

The song La Violence was done in French entirely and it's reminiscent of the Makoma group singing style. So why Makoma style? "Makoma is our biggest inspiration although we do not hear them anymore," they said. This might as well pass for a weakness, but it is just as well they have other songs where they have a sound of their own. I also think though that even if their preference of hardthumping beats is working for them, they shouldn't ignore the soft soulful sound that makes their song titled Peace. I found myself replaying it several times.

Though safely ensconced in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where they have attracted a lot of media attention with their performances  lling up halls, they are planning a number of performances in Kampala. They made their last perfomances at last year's Orange Expo and Buzz Teeniez awards. Expect them soon, with more performances.

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