22 January 2013

Uganda: Majara Back to Gospel Reggae Roots

When she went professional in 2007, Allen Majara was dubbed the next big thing in Uganda's gospel music industry.

With her 10-track album, Afaayo, Majara looked unstoppable. She had customized her style by incorporating various genres like Afro-beat, R&B, hip hop, Kwaito as well as dancehall to create her own sound - Afro-urban. But because of work (with Uganda telecom), the singer decided to suspend music to concentrate on her job.

"It was never easy to manage the office work and music. I knew that talent is permanent but a job can expire. That is why I gave it a break then," she says.

After almost three years out of active music, Majara made a sensational comeback last year with her Osaanidde hit, rocking Uganda airwaves and eventually going ahead to scoop the prestigious Olive Gospel Music awards for Best Reggae artiste. The same song has been nominated for the best reggae song in the upcoming HiPipo music awards.

"Winning the Olive awards was the best thing to happen to me. I was just coming back to the scene and the fans welcomed me by giving me an award," she says with joy.

She calls this her biggest achievement so far. Now that her stars are shining bright, Majara is working on a nine-track album. When it gets completed in August this year, it will be full of gospel and inspirational tracks.

Tip: One of the songs is a direct attack on false religious leaders who condemn acts like corruption and homosexuality when they do the same.

For Majara's vocal trainer and producer Joseph Mayanja, it is her dedication, enthusiasm and willingness to learn that are going to make her a world star.

"I have not worked with a person with such vigour as Majara's. Despite her unquestionable talent, she always wants to learn more and improve," he says.

Majara was inspired by her religious family and always participated in church choirs at St Luke's chapel.

"I always ask myself, how have I used my talent to serve God?" she says.

Majara's biggest fear is failure to get a good working relationship with her producer or manager. She knows that people always change and her success relies on a good working relationship with her team.

"Consistency is not a guarantee. People may be good to you today and they change tomorrow," she says.

But the reggae artiste is not scared of the competition in the gospel industry. She calls competition healthy.

"I will not stop until the day I'm the most sought-after gospel artiste in Africa," she promises.

"Time still remains my big challenge. I have to work from 8am to 5pm and thereafter go for music practice. It is not easy," she says.

Majara writes her own music, but runs it to professional writers for consultation and criticism.

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