7 November 2018

Kenya: UK Top Reggae Group Set for Uganda, Kenya Tour

Mungo's Hi-Fi, a UK top reggae dancehall collective, will be performing at two concerts in Kampala and Jinja on November 9 and 10 respectively.

The shows will feature the group's new star artiste Eva Lazarus, as the guest performer, alongside other East African musicians.

The first concert will be held at The Square in Kampala followed by another at the Pit Stop (formerly Laftaz) in Jinja town in eastern Uganda the next day.

Mungo's Hi-Fi and Lazarus will perform alongside Ugandan reggae artiste Ziggy Dee, who has recorded a new song with the UK unit. Other performers include Blessed San, DJ Shiru, Nazizi, Recho Rey, and Kenya's Nazizi.

Tickets for the Kampala show cost Ush30,000 ($8), while for the Jinja one is Ush15,000 ($4).

In Kenya, the Mungo's Hi-Fi will hold the first show at K1 Clubhouse in the capital Nairobi on November 16. The second concert will be held at the Distant Relatives Ecolodge & Backpackers in the coastal Kilifi town on November 17.

Tickets cost Ksh2,000 ($20) for the Nairobi concert and Ksh500 ($5) for the Kilifi one.

The event organisers East African Records (EAR) say Mungo's Hi-Fi and some local artistes will also record new music during the tour.

"This UK act is truly a blessing for East Africa. They are very talented but humble guys who have toured every continent and worked with everyone in reggae/dancehall artiste from Yellowman to Chronixx to Major Lazer," the head of EAR, David Cecil told The EastAfrican.

"Mungo's are the most pioneering and entertaining reggae-dancehall crew in Europe right now. But they appeal to a very broad fan base across many genres - EDM, dubstep, hip-hop, jungle, ska, dub, and pop - so I just know people here are going to love them. Eva Lazarus is their latest rising talent, an incredibly versatile artiste. She can rock any dancefloor, whether she's singing love songs or spitting fire on hardcore dancehall," he added.

Mr Cecil added that the choice of the UK collective for the tour was because EAR focusses on "artistes who want to work with us in the studio, as well as playing live shows. It's about contributing to the global music network - exposing Ugandans to great acts from around the world and likewise showing these artistes how fertile and dynamic the Ugandan music scene is."

Mr Cecil said music lovers will enjoy original, quality music on a loud sound system.

Mungo's Hi-Fi was founded in 2000 by Tom Tattersall and Doug Paine. They wrote, recorded, produced and performed their own brand of reggae and dub music, which follows the original Jamaican sound system tradition. They were later joined by Craig Macleod in 2002, Jerome Joly in 2006 and in 2012 by James Whelan.

The sound system group is based in Glasgow, Scotland. They built their first sound system from speakers found in a rubbish dump and began producing on an old Atari computer at the turn of the millennium.

Following some early recordings on London's Dubhead records, including debut album Mungo's Hi-Fi Meets Brother Culture, they founded their Scotch Bonnet label in 2005.

The group has produced nine albums: Mungo's Hi-Fi Meets Brother Culture (2002), Sound System Champions (2009), Forward Ever (2011), Mungo's Hi-Fi featuring Kenny Knots - Brand New Bangarang (2013), Prince Fatty Vs Mungo's Hi-Fi (2014), Serious Time (2014), Serious Dubs (2014), Mungo's Hi-Fi featuring Charlie P - You See Me Star (2015), and Mungo's Hi-Fi featuring YT - No Wata Down Ting (2016).

The group has collaborated with various artistes from Sugar Minott to Ranking Joe in Jamaica to Major Lazer in America.

Mungo's Hi-Fi first performance in Uganda was at the inaugural Nyege Nyege Festival in Jinja in October 2015.

Eva Lazarus is the 2017 Best Female Vocalist/MC winner at We Love Jungle Awards. Her music spans across genres from reggae to hip-hop to DnB to jungle. Her hit song Amsterdam featuring Mungo's Hi-Fi, from the Amsterdam album released in 2017, was listed on BBC 6Music and on David Rodigan's Scorchers of 2017 list.

The Bristol-based songstress's has collaborated with other artistes including Nextmen, Gardna X Kreed, Gentleman's Dub Club, Xoa, and Zed Bias.

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