Apr 24, 2011

The Maurice Kirya minute

On a chilly evening at posh  fairly lovely restaurant (The Lawns) the man from West Africa. He is not a west African but he had been in West Africa on tour. Yes. A Ugandan went on tour and he did not lip sing. So put your hands together (you need to clap or something) for Maurice (middle name not Known) Kirya. Some of you may know his brother, Vampos Vampino of Swangz avenue (I don’t know the plot number). You know I tried google maps in Uganda and I could not find Swangz Avenue. 

Me, a friend and a three hot beautiful ladies met with Kirya and dissected (the none biological way) him on a few things.

Album cover for his latest Album. Musubbawa. Forget the "coming soon". Its been a year. 

Question from Beautiful lady to Maurice: So my man Maurice do you actually do you update your own Twitter and Facebook accounts. 
(In some sort of singing tone) I actually update my Facebook and Twitter. I would like to express myself the way I am so that people get to know about me in person. Its only the MySpace account (it’s in French) that someone does and they usually tell my fans it ain’t me. (Maurice is really thirsty and orders for a drink. We all order for drinks. Guess who was going to pay?)

What do you want the world to know about Uganda? (Area code 256)
My message is a positive one. Uganda is a good country but foreigners don’t know about it. We have a great culture (heavy) and I wanna be part of the people that make it known to the world. I call my music “Gospel of the Sunshine.” (Maurice winks at one of the girls. She winks back).

So Maurice, What does your music represent?
You know like I said, I want to tell a good story that represents social issues. I represent the Urban African. (Hey Maurice I am also an urban African. I was born and raised in a trading center. I hope that passes as an urban area). I love Jazz, R’ n’ b and Hip hop and that’s a typical urban African. This is the Uganda that I know and represent.

Man or Mehn that’s good stuff. Kati boss, what sort of music do you do?
I call my music Mwooyo. This is soul music with a Ugandan touch. (If anyone knows what the Mwooyo Genre is, please holla. I will sign the cheque). You can hear the Ugandan accent on the vocals (Does another rap qualify as Mwooyo?).
You know I was exposed to all this different music from my background. My mother liked the Abba’s and country music, I listen to a lot of hip hop (pause Maurice. Do you think the song Angela is Hip Hop?) because one of my brothers liked it. Then I was also into Reggae music because my other brother Vampino liked it. Growing up, I was surrounded by music from way back. And at times a take I laid back sit and listen to music from the 50’s to do research on its influence.

Que in question by another pretty girl; do you think you are charming?
*Maurice turns around tends shakes his head while denying he is charming. His head is denying but his facial expression is showing otherwise.*
People tell I am charming, but I don’t think so. Mark (That's me), what do you think?
My answer? If the ladies think you are then, most definitely you are.
(Maurice tells pretty girl: "By the way you are pretty")

Are you dating?
I am single. I have dated before but come on who would want to be with a person who is always on the move. (Hmmm Maurice there are ladies with the determination). I however like being in the company of women. I go out with them once in a while.

So you ain’t dating but you hang-out with women?
Yap, they are two different things. There is a difference between dating and asking a lady to watch a movie or dine with you. What people see on the Kardishians (no offense to show) in Hollywood movies. I want to have fun and I usually tell the ladies what I like about them. If they have nice hair, then I will say it. If I like their smile I will say it. All I want is to hangout with a lady and we do some food or even watch a movie without getting attached in terms of dating.

Your ideal woman (to date)
When people ask me this question, My answer straight out is “I don’t know.”

Gwe guy!!! What car do you drive?
I drive a 1971 VW beetle. (Let us pause for a minute. A vintage car. Seriously. With an engine in the back and moreover a 1971 model)
Not the exact car but this is the 1971 VW beetle

You won the RFI award and you drive an “old car”?
Right now a car is not a priority. There is still so much to. I have another car but it’s a simple car and not very flashy. (What he mean’t here is *I think* the car did not have spinners, two large flat screen TVs and hydrochloric something that makes the car dance)

Why the vintage car?
This car is like 40years old and it was once driven by Idi Amin. (Ya’ll know this dude (RIP). He was president of Uganda from 1971-79)

Have ever gone on date using this car?
*Sips water* I have and it has broken down several times while I am on a date.

Tell me more about this tour of West Africa?
So we did about 14 countries in 18hours performed at 24 concerts and did 6 road trips (of more than 4 hours). All this was in two months. It was fun going around West Africa and doing music for people. I met so many interesting people and made many more fans in West Africa. It was amazing how much people appreciated the music I was doing.

So why did you have to go on tour of West Africa?
Every year, Radio France International (RFI), has the discovery award for African countries. I won it. In fact I was the first non-Franco phone winner of the award. Part of the award is that the artist has to do a tour of West Africa. So that’s how we ended up in West Africa and concluded all this in Paris. This was the first leg of the tour.

When is the second leg?
The second leg is after Easter and it will be in the United States. We will do New York, Washington and Chicago. I will be performing alongside Jordin Sparks. (Chris Brown did "No Air" with her, I wonder if Maurice will do one too)

And for 2011. I am told the Maurice Kirya experience will be no more.
I am working on my new album and I cannot say much about that. But because I am on tour  and haven’t been able to concentrate on the new album. The Maurice Kirya experience will now be one event in the year. The experience is the platform I provide to promote the arts like music, poetry and paintings. It started small but it became a huge event by beating our expectations. I also hope to do concerts here in Uganda in 2011.

So, if you ain’t doing music what is your day be like?
My day can be filled up with meetings but I try as much as possible to be done by 4pm. I work like a professional. There are people who do my management and promotions among others. After all these I also go to the movies. Alone or not, I have to go to the movies. I try to find a quiet place where I can sit uninterrupted. I also walk on the streets just to see people. I do go to Owino (For those who do not know Owino, its like a Food Court but only that this one is for clothes) by myself to buy clothes. This helps me relate my music to what seems to be going on peoples’ lives.

Life struggles, especially when you decided music was going to be your thing (Career)
Most people thought I was not going to make it. They would see me carrying a guitar and they would think there is something wrong with me. They would look down on me.
 I was never appreciated but still I moved on. It was tough getting to where I am now. I am not yet at the top, but am better. People who used to think my music would be crap come to me to tell me how good my music is. It was a struggle in industry where quick money seems to be the dominant factor.

Any question for me Maurice?
Yes. Which song of mine, do you like the most?
I like Misubbaawa.

"Why?" he asks.
(I don’t know about the vocals and pitch) Its one of strong worded songs I have ever listened too. It sinks in that the song can be felt on the inside.(The rilics lyrics of this song are amazing. I love them)

Then we he asks for our bill for the drinks.....(The rest could not be included in this interview)

It was one great evening with Maurice Kirya and through the years he has progressed to get to this level.  Live music is making a comeback in Uganda and Maurice has played his role in promoting this kind of music. Maurice will keep going places and for us me, we’ll I'll support the cause. 

You also visit the facebook fan page http://www.facebook.com/MauriceKirya 
Related links


  1. i love how you captured the details in this interview. it actually made me laugh maybe because i actually remember him saying those exact things. Maurice is a certified one to watch.

  2. nice stuff, i love this guy,.. he has talent and class

    checkout www.ugandalogs.com, a website for discovering and sharing uganda web content

  3. i so would have wanted to be there with you ..:-)

    his my favourite ugandan musician...

    he sounds very modest...

  4. Hello Maurice Kirya,

    I must say I love your style of music. Last week Anthology Downtown San Diego. Keep on keeping on making good music you are not to far form the top!!

    One Love
    One Life
    Only one me Miss Kensue