Eddy Kenzo was frequently dismissed as a non-serious singer in Uganda due to the style of his music, but he did not let the criticism stop him. Instead, he found motivation in them to achieve greater heights. Kenzo, who grew up in the slums, has defied his own expectations, as well as those of his fans and rivals.
He is the first Ugandan to receive a Grammy nomination. His music videos, which typically depict poverty, set him apart. He does not follow in the footsteps of others who want to flaunt their expensive cars and clothes.
“Honestly speaking, I am so overwhelmed,” he told AP about his nomination. “I am so nervous at the same time. I thank God that we made it.” His hit song, “Gimme Love,” which was a collaboration with the American singer Matt B, was nominated for a Grammy in the category of best global music performance.
Kenzo’s Grammy nomination will not be his first international nomination. According to AP, he won a BET award in 2015 as the viewers’ choice for the best new international artiste, making him the first and only Ugandan to receive that honor. He won the award for his song “Sitya Loss,” which is now the most-watched Ugandan artist song on YouTube. The Ugandan singer recently won the International Reggae Award, the World Music Award, and the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award. Due to their dance routine to “Sitya Loss,” Kenzo is credited with putting the Triplets Ghetto Kids on the map.
Kenzo, real name Edirisa Musuuza, is from a remote region of central Uganda. He had few opportunities to attend school and frequently went to bed not knowing where his next meal would come from. He lost his mother when he was four years old. According to the Associated Press, he had no idea who his father was and only met some of his siblings as an adult. His ambition was to be a footballer, and he even received a scholarship to a boarding school as a result of his talent.
However, he dropped out of school and returned to hustling. “I am a hustler,” he told AP. “This is a very huge step for me, my family and the ghetto people, the hustlers, the people who come from nothing. It gives us a lot of hope that anything is possible.”
Bobi Wine, a musician-turned-politician, inspired him to pursue music. Wine rose from the slums to become a revolutionary as well.