Music tourism taking root in Uganda as Rema’s Melodies of Love concert attracts thousands

Thousands of fans thronged Sheraton Gardens on Feb. 23 (Friday night) as Rema Namakula took to the stage in her long-anticipated Melodies of Love concert.

The crowd kept growing right after lunch and by dusk, the gardens were filled to capacity.

The audience visibly had all kinds of guests ranging from local, regional, continental, and international fans of Rema.

Right from her entrance onto the stage, the crowd showed both love and energy, singing along the songstress’ lines as she displayed both talent and skill.

Of course, Rema did not perform solo but had various artistes, including Juliana Kanyomozi, King Saha, Aziz Azion, Irene Ntale and B2C.

The East African country is fast becoming a tourism hub for lovers of music and other performances. And the local artistes are not sleeping on the job.

Before Rema performed, she told local media there was a need to focus on capturing the international audience by singing in a language, which connects to the global community.

“I think there is something that we must fix as artists in Uganda. We should either get a sound that represents us [to the world] because even the people [West Africans] that we praise have a sound that represents them fully. we have to get a sound that represents us as Ugandans,” she said.

“Secondly, I think we should sing in languages that unite us. What I know, is when I drop an English song, there is an audience that it will reach and stop somewhere. What I request is that when I drop an English song, please push it and support us like when a Luganda song is released,” the mother of two added.

For her excellent performance, Rema was added to the long list of performers expected to grace the stage next month during the Ali Campbell Featuring UB40 concert.

The organisers of the reggae concert, Talent Africa, noted: “Coming out of her successful Melodies of Love concert, on Feb. 23, Rema now has a chance to prove herself on such a stage with remarkably big international stars.”

“Over the years of her career, Rema has morphed her artistry into a distinct blend of Afrobeat, and Rhythm and Blues. Her versatility and ability to connect with audiences through her music have earned her a seat at the table of the most celebrated Ugandan artistes,” Talent Africa added.

Other local talents lined up for the March 2 concert at Kololo Independence Grounds include Bebe Cool, Vinka, Navio, Weasel, Vampino, Elijah Kitaka, Party Pipo and Abeeka Band.

In the past, events such as Nyege Nyege have attracted more than 20,000 partygoers from both continental and international countries.

Uganda recently opened a newly constructed passenger terminal at the country’s Entebbe International Airport to handle more traffic.

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