SHADOW ARTISTES: Musicians walking in others’ footsteps

Identity is one of the vital qualities for any artiste to establish or leave a mark in the industry. Different artistes come up with different ways of branding themselves to appear unique from others towards the music fanatics. However, some of them choose to walk in the shadow or footsteps of others.

Just like a photocopy and original copy, it’s always difficult for these artistes to outshine the people they look up to and sometimes end up being confronted for ‘copying’ them. Below is a list of some of Uganda’s musicians who have a lot in common with other artistes making them appear like their ‘shadows.’

King Saha (Mowzey Radio)
Since his first hit single Signal, King Saha has always been compared to late Mowzey Radio vocally no wonder he was seen as his replacement when the duo (Radio & Weasel) left Leone Island in 2007. Unlike others, the two were close friends even though they never had a collaboration song together during Radio’s lifetime apart from both featuring in Tubonga Naawe. Saha aside, Radio has an endless list of admirers such as Karl Famous, Piz Mallon, John Wule, Mr. Lee (B2C), Raja Muzik among others.   

Mary Bata (Catherine Kusaasira)
Before Mary Bata changed her style to spice it up with more ragga, she was more of a Catherine replica. Since she was in Kream Production, it was rumoured that she was brought to counter Golden Band’s Catherine at the time.

Vivian Tendo (Irene Nantale)
Route Entertainment’s Vivian burst onto the music scene with the Hajjat wa Haji song. Apart from somehow looking alike, often times when her music is playing you have to be reminded that it’s not Ntale singing.

Dr. Bitone (Jose Chameleone)
As if mimicking Chameleone’s voice wasn’t enough, Bitone went ahead to take on the same hair style and added the Dr. prefix to his name. Their rivalry peaked in the year 2014 after the two artistes made cover songs for late Elly Wamala’s song Nga Bwewakolanga. Bitone later released Essaati in which he accused Chameleone of hunting him down because of singing like him.

Free Boy (Gerald Kiweewa)
When people listened to Free Boy’s song Kwata Essimu featuring Winnie Nwagi, they were shocked how the Swangz diva connected with Kiweewa for a collabo. It was afterwards that they found out it was another artiste not the Kadongokamu veteran.

Latinum (A Pass)
By the time latinum emerged on the scene, A Pass was having a music break. With songs like Ova Kampala, the artiste seemed to be attacking A Pass who had previously recorded an album titled Nva Kampala. In one of his local TV interviews, Latinum went on to dare A Pass to an open music battle.   

VIP Jemo (Fik Fameica)
Fik Fameica is another artiste who has suffered from music copy cats. at the peak of his career in 2017 and 2018, he had close to five artistes almost doing the same music like his. However with time, some dropped off the track and as of today, it’s only VIP Jemo and Suspekt Leizor who are still hanging on.

Zil Zil (Peter Miles)
When you listen to songs like Ssinalya and Ssasi Ku  Nnyama, you can be forgiven in case you mistake the artiste for Peter Miles. The dramatic part about the two is that at one time, Peter tried to change his voice by making it sound a bit bigger to create a gap between him and Zil Zil.

Angel Sekandi (Paul Kafeero)
Sekandi’s similarity to Paul Kafeero can be attributed to the time he spent with the fallen singer. His most controversial song is Obulamu Bwebutyo which many thought was sang by Kafeero because of the voice yet it’s for Sekandi. When you listen to the lyrics of his songs, you’ll find a lot of inspiration from his former master. for example, Perugia relates with Buladina, Mwanyinaze with Nantabuulirirwa, among others.

Viola Nakitende (Titi Tendo)
When you listen to some of Nakitende’s songs like Tosimuula, her voice is almost similar to Titi’s. The voice huskiness in Taata Bulamu also makes you think it’s the Nsonyiwa Faaza hit maker behind the microphone.

Miki Wine (Bobi Wine)
When Miki Wine and Eddy Kenzo released Yannimba in 2009, many mistook Miki for Bobi at first. in addition, Miki Wine tends to admire his elder brother so much from sharing one of his stage name to same hairstyles often times. For the case of the voices sounding similar, Miki’s case is a bit understandable since he is a blood brother to Bobi Wine.

Barbi Jay (Aziz Azion)
During Barbi Jay’s early stages of career, many thought he was a brother to Aziz Azion due to the similarity in their looks and voices as exhibited in their collabo Chocolate Girl. The two artistes also used to have similar hairstyles sometimes. Today, Barbi Jay is more active as a producer than an artiste.

Bakri (Allan Toniks)
Bakri’s case has a lot in common with Latinum and A Pass scenario. By the time Bakri surfaced, Toniks was down musically. From the voice to hairstyle, you could easily mistake him for Toniks. However just like A Pass did with Latinum, Toniks made a comeback and today is more successful than Bakri.

Victor Kamenyo (Gravity Omutujju)
The bitter rivalry between the two rappers is not new to anyone who has been following the entertainment industry. The two have a lot in common like the songs that introduced them to fame both being covers (Walumbe Zaaya for Gravity and Agawalaggana for Victor), the voices and flow of their words.