Rwanda: 'I Dropped Out of School to Focus On Music' - Daddy Andre's Story

Not very often do parents or guardians allow their children to focus on their talent or passion rather than formal education. The golden rule is always; to juggle or focus on education.

But that was not the case for Ugandan music producer and singer Daddy Andre, real name Andrew Ojambo, arguably one of the best producers in the region, who is set to perform in Rwanda this Friday.

Daddy Andre, who will be performing at Kigali Jazz Junction, this Friday, March 31, tells The New Times about his journey to the music industry and his expectations in Rwanda.

The 'Sikikukweka' singer, who started producing music in 2010 but made a breakthrough as a producer in 2014, says his life from childhood was all about music, and it was not surprising when he decided to drop out of school to fully focus on music after Senior Six.

Born in Nsambya, a Kampala suburb, 42 years ago, it is fair to say that Daddy Andre is a 'city boy', who grew up exposed to the modern world.

"My education is not that serious," he says, adding that when he was in school, he never viewed conventional education as something he was destined for and that when he decided to venture into music, his family chipped in with some equipment.

"I realised myself when I was a child," he points out, emphasising that from a very early age, he knew he was made for music and that is what he wanted to do.

"I didn't believe in education as I did not see my future there," he says.

As a child, he started listening to all types of music and educating himself about the genres. In his exercise books, he scribbled lyrics. He had fallen in love with music.

"I became a fan of music. I think I had to conclude the dream. It was just something that I had gotten used to. It was in me. So, it was simple for me to just go ahead with the music industry.

"I joked about dropping out of school and my family and I talked about it. I needed some machines for myself so I could start doing a little bit of production," he recalls.

Through his connections, people started going to his home to record songs. He gained more friends who told others and before he knew it, he was becoming popular within the music circles.

"God helped me out, getting connections with people who knew celebrities in the industry. So, it was easy for me to penetrate using the same energy and directions, procedures, and everything like that," the producer says.

From producing to singing

Having mastered the game in the production area, Daddy Andre would visit different studios to compare what his fellow producers were doing, and he felt there was a gap somewhere.

He wanted a certain kind of beat but he could not find it anywhere. He thought to himself, 'since I am a song writer and I can produce, I should try out something for myself. Just the way I wish it to be. Why not?'

When he produced his first songs, he shared them with friends and they liked what he was doing. They urged him on. He then drew out a plan to take it further.

The more he guided other producers and made good music, the more popular he became. They started calling him "Daddy". That is how Daddy Andre came about. Andre from his first name Andrew.

"I just grew up singing so it was easy for me. That's why I invested money in singing and production at the same time," says Ojambo, who is now more spiritual in his ways and speech.

He does not take it for granted, being able to do things as a producer and singer and earn respect.

Daddy Andre says that it is easy to transition because as a producer, you are a composer, writer, instrumentalist, and singer, which makes it easy. It is also easy to win over the masses because you know what you are doing.

He points out that if you're gifted, it is fulfilling to try out your talent and if people happen to like it, good for you.

He, however, says that for that to work, you have to tick several boxes, including having the management and finances to do both and also knowing what people want, all the way to how you promote yourself.

Daddy Andre, who has been in a number of very public tumultuous relationships, says that he now looks up to God in everything he does, even when it comes to relationships.

He was previously in the news for his breakup with fellow singer Angella Katatumba and later got engaged to singer Nina Roz in 2020 before they ended their relationship amicably. He was also said to be dating another singer, Karole Kasita.

Ahead of his performance in Kigali, Daddy Andre says he is looking forward to being on the stage in Kigali and he can't wait to engage with fellow artistes in Rwanda, emphasising that he will be open to everything since he is a 'free style' artiste.

Daddy Andre broke out on the music scene in the region with 'You and Me', a collaboration with Ugandan singer Lydia Jazmine and later went on to produce songs like 'Tugende mu Church', 'Andele', 'Nsowera' featuring Spice Diana, 'Nangana' featuring Nina Roz, among other hit songs.

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