Maurice Kirya’s appeal does not know the usual limits that normally restrict music to a particular group or fan type, whether those be age, gender, geography, musical taste, e.t.c. He has represented Uganda on many international stages, the latest being the popular TV reality show Big Brother’s stage in South Africa. He tells Agather Atuhaire that his music tells him who he is.
Tell me about Maurice Kirya, the musician and the person.
I sort of live for the music and it is what I use to change the world into the colours I prefer. I started singing as a little kid with my brother and it’s good to see that I have come so far!
Your music has changed over the past decade. Why is that?
Yes, my sound has gotten heavier and more mature. It was more acoustic and gentle in the early 2000’s, today we record a full band. And since I’m grown now, my themes are more mature and make braver statements.
Do you think your music is achieving the purpose you want it to?
I want to contribute to taking my country on the international stage. I want the world to think of Uganda as a place of talents and to know us more for our positives than our negatives. And I think we are getting there, thanks to all the other musicians that are pursuing the same goal.
You have travelled quite a lot, how do you rate Uganda’s music?
Uganda is one of the most talented countries in Africa. I could be biased but I know that until artistes look at a bigger picture, our arts will never cross borders. The problem now is that the music is not protected by the copyright law, and international agencies are afraid to invest legal protection. This slows down our growth on the international stage.
You’re certainly not lacking in international recognition ...
True, but it makes me sad to know hundreds who do what I do, some even better, but have not yet gotten where they should be. When I started the ‘The Maurice Kirya Experience’ show, I wanted to showcase Uganda’s great talents. Now every time I perform abroad I take a minute on stage to talk about the Ugandan artistes that inspire me.
What artists would you love to work with, locally and internationally?
I would love to work with Micheal Ouma; he is one of the most creative musicians I know and we grew up together.
I’ve heard of your book. Do you also write books?
HAHAHA… No, it’s a musical album called ‘The Book Of Kirya’ which brings together almost all the themes of my life. It is a journey that also reminds my fans – young or old - a lot about who they are.
Are you married, single, searching?
I have got my eyes and mind on someone, but I’m not married.
How do you deal with all the women attention?
I like it (laughs).