Meet Uganda’s Song Bird, Esther Nabatanzi

Esther Nabatanzi

Esther Nabatanzi is a Ugandan singer, vocalist and performer. A journey that started out with her singing in the church choir, before joining Uganda’s Ejazz Band as a lead singer and then venturing into a solo music career, the former Tusker Project Fame contestant remains to be one among the very few that make something of themselves after participating in music contest shows.  An accountant by day and musician by night, Esther who is a Makerere University Graduate with a Bachelors in Business Administration is a gem to watch out for, with the perfect honey voice that would have you want to listen to her all day, every day!

I got the rare chance to interview her and this is how it all went down….

How was the transition from singing in the church choir to secular music and did you get any back lash for it?

I can’t say that it was a transition really because all I do is sing inspirational music, that may not necessarily be gospel nor evil. I  am simply an artist that wants to inspire.While judgement about what I do is inevitable, I haven’t received any backlash from the church- though I am not sure what they (the church) thinks about my music.

What influenced the decision to move from singing in a band to going solo?

I felt like venturing into a solo career would help me build a stronger brand. Also, it is a lot easier to promote an individual other than an entire band. That said though, I still am part of a band with whom I still do live performances with.

Besides building a stronger brand as a solo artist, what other notable differences are there between being a solo artist and being part of a band?

Being a solo artist means you can ably compete in the industry and can be ranked accordingly depending on your individual strengths and weaknesses, other than as a group. Also, you have no choice but to be more keen on your work, as your success or failure all depend on you as an individual rather than shared responsibilities that may sometimes contribute to one being a bit laid back.

How do you strike a balance between being an accountant and an artist without neglecting or putting too much effort on one?

It’s only weekends and evening hours after 5PM when I do music, the rest of the time, I am an accountant. I however have to work extra harder than an artist that does music full time.

You style of music is majorly RNB and mostly on love, why  so and not on any other genre or topic?

I am currently working on my first album, which has love as it’s major theme.The album however consists of other genres of music including Zouk and Reggae. Other topics shall be covered in the next album. It’s all part of a bigger strategy.

How did you choose love as a theme for your first album….why not anything else?

Love is a topic people can easily relate to. Everybody has been loved or faced challenges in love. All other values such as respect, kindness, integrity are as a result of love. Love is everything and it was a perfect way to introduce myself to the world.

You got 2 nominations at this year’s Club Music Video Awards and though you did not win, it’s a major milestone considering you only started singing professionally as a solo artist in 2016. How do you think the nomination will impact your music career or has it done that already?

It was an eye opener. I realized that people are watching me. This means a lot to any upcoming artist. I am more motivated and focused now.

Tubaale and Gwenafunye are currently doing so well. How do you ensure that you don’t get too comfortable with current success so that you are always on top of your game?

I never get too comfortable with anything because successful people keep improving themselves to become better persons. I am definitely not where I want to be so I have to keep working harder.

I listen to your music and can’t help but think of Naava while at it. You guys sound so much alike. Do you ever get that?

Oh yeah. Especially with my first single Gwenafunye. People thought it was Naava’s song. I am however OK with as for first songs people will compare you to existing artists, but this slowly fades with subsequent songs and then they start to see the distinguishing factors between you as artists.

So far, it has been all solo projects you have ventured into…any upcoming music collaborations we should look forward to?

I have some collaborations done already, just not yet released…and no, I’m not telling. It’s going to be a surprise. However, collaborations for me are more about me being able to connect with the artist I am collaborating with as opposed to looking at it as a strategy to become famous. There has to be a strong musical connection for me to be able to collaborate with an artist.

What can we expect from you in the near future?

More inspirational music and a lot of music that is straight from the heart.

Check out Esther’s Tubaale…


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