March 12, 2011

Professional Musicians To Teach Recording Our Dreams Workshops in AGYA Studio

AGYA is excited to announce that acclaimed music producer David Mukalazi and established rap emcee Simon “Mon MC” Ssemwogere will be facilitating daily workshops at AGYA’s Recording Our Dreams Studio. These professional musicians, who bring a combined 25 years of experience in Uganda’s music industry, will be sharing their talent and skills with Ugandan youth.

Mukalazi has considered himself a musician since the age of 10 when he began playing the piano and guitar. By the time he was 18, Mukalazi was writing songs, had created his own live band, and was directing the African Children’s Choir. Mukalazi made the transition from live music to the studio in the mid 1990s. He is widely recognized as the first person to produce a rap record in Uganda in 1995 when Ugandan hip-hop was still in its infancy.

As a trailblazer in Uganda’s music industry, Mukalazi  (pictured here playing keyboard during a live performance) is credited for production work on more than 60 albums during the course of his career.

After years of working in the for-profit sector of the entertainment business, Mukalazi is ready to explore his passion which is helping young people develop their musical talents. Mukalazi is the perfect choice to lead the implementation of the Recording Our Dreams curriculum which is a 16 week intensive training course developed by AGYA Co-Founder Divinity Barkley Matovu. 

Under Mukalazi’s leadership, AGYA youth will learn how to operate studio equipment, use software programs, and begin beat production. By the time they complete the training course, students will be equipped with the basic knowledge and skills to teach others and pursue job opportunities with AGYA’s studio and other commercial studios in Uganda. The students will also work towards recording a compilation album which they will market via social networks and sell on iTunes.

Simon Ssemwogerere aka Mon MC is a professional rap emcee from Kampala. Rapping exclusively in his native tongue, Luganda, and infusing traditional African musicology into his style, Mon MC believes that rap music is the best way that he can educate the global community about issues facing people in Uganda. Mon MC has been rapping for more than 10 years. He has performed at more than 500 live shows throughout East Africa including a benefit concert for children suffering from HIV/AIDS at Mulago Hospital in Uganda. Mon MC is the first Ugandan rap artist to have a music video featured on Black Entertainment Television (BET). With songs like “It’s Never Too Late To Fight AIDS,” which was inspired by Mon MC’s mother who lost her battle with HIV/AIDS in 1997, Mon MC’s music is truly educational, uplifting and inspirational.

Mon MC (far left pictured above with AGYA youth Rodrigo and Nelson at AGYA's 2010 Hip-Hop Expo) will be volunteering as a guest lecturer on hip-hop performance and technique at the Amagezi Gemaanyi Youth Association (AGYA) as part of the Recording Our Dreams Studio Project. His mentorship and guidance will be beneficial to all of the youth who will be working on their first compilation album.

Please stay tuned for more exciting updates from Recording Our Dreams!