Have you ever listened to a song and thought, that is exactly what I want to say? Or better still, that is my life they are singing about! How great does it feel knowing that someone out there totally gets what is going on in your life without you even ever meeting them?
How about when after listening to a song, it feels like a huge burden has been lifted and you have gained the courage to face whatever issue reared its head a few moments ago? Debasish Mridha coined the popular quote, “Music heals wounds that medicine cannot touch” and this has never been truer than in relation to K!MERA's music.
The Ugandan singer and songwriter first captured the hearts of many with his 2014 single, Gwe Wange translated as “You are Mine” a beautiful love song that has probably been played at every wedding in Kampala.
K!MERA has a gift for telling stories, speaking to hearts, and healing them by addressing everyday distresses through his creative wording, simplicity, and varied musical style. His most recent album, “HEARTS and MINDS” is nothing short of amazing.
Initially released as two separate Extended Plays (EPs), as titled, one focuses on speaking to the mind and the other, to the heart. Each song has been carefully created with the above in mind and a versatility that will have you taking a journey through different styles and genres of music, thinking of some of the topics that K!MERA addresses, and finally, wanting to play the album again because one listen simply wasn't enough.
The Hearts and Minds Poster. Source: Agandy Studios
Bono, the famous British singer, goes “music can change the world because it changes people” and this right here sums up the definition of K!MERA''s unique artistic and musical expression.
Andariya had the incredible opportunity to sit down with K!MERA and have a chat as he talked in-depth about his musical journey and how he's able to keep creating music that touched hearts and calmed the mind.
Andariya: Who is K!MERA?
K!MERA: K!MERA is a singer, songwriter, husband, father, and certified transformational coach.
Singer, Songwriter K!MERA. Source: Agandy Studios
Andariya: What kind of music do you create and why?
K!MERA: In terms of style, I am inclined towards RnB and Soul, but I like to think of my songs as kids- always keen to try on new clothes, so you will often find a bit of reggae, dancehall and hip-hop. What I am always consistent about though, is my lyrical content. The song has to say something important, not just to me but to the listener. And then after that, it is another creative process to figure out what musical style suits that message the best.
Andariya: How did you start out?
K!MERA: In my childhood, music was always a part of our family. We sang while doing chores, at meetings, weddings, birthdays, funerals, and so on. It was always there and even now, when we get together, someone is bound to start a song and everyone fills in with harmony. Professionally, I never jumped onto the music train until much later. I used to sing in school and in our local community and got several requests to do more music but my hesitation was always “does the world really need another song, another musician, another CD?" It wasn't until I wrote a couple of songs and randomly while playing them for friends, that I noticed they would lean in, listen intently and ask me about the story of that song. That always led to some insightful conversations. After a few of these experiences, it occurred to me, perhaps this music is adding some unique value after all. This encouraged me to get into it seriously. It has been eight years since, and I have not looked back.
Andariya: What inspires you?
K!MERA: The opportunity to make a difference. Essentially, my "why" is People. Purpose. Progress. I help People recognize and embrace their Purpose so they can make the Progress they truly desire. Whether it's through hosting and speaking at events, singing on a stage, or in one-on-one coaching engagements; all these are just expressions of this same goal.
Andariya: What are your high points as an artist?
K!MERA: It is hard to say. There is that first moment when a friend called screaming “YOUR SONG IS PLAYING ON THE RADIO!!” No one had ever heard of me so it was exciting to hear the presenters speak so highly of my song. But my biggest is from a few years ago when I had the opportunity to write a prayer song called “Amen” and we were invited to sing it at the National Prayer Breakfast. Now, that was amazing.
K!MERA performing at his Hearts and Minds Concert. Source: Agandy Studios
Andariya: Are there any challenges that you have faced?
K!MERA: Coming to the realization that this is a very long journey. It is wonderful to have this musical gift that can make a difference in people's lives, but it also takes a lot of time and commitment, and it costs a lot of money to pull it off. There are also times when you feel like some people do not fully appreciate what goes into putting out this work, but I guess it's the story of any creative journey. It is so tempting to second guess your decision, and that is why you must have a solid reason for why you are doing this. That said, every so often, you meet people who appreciate your work and whose lives have been genuinely touched by something you’ve done. Those moments make it all worthwhile.
Andariya: Any notable performances and collaborations?
K!MERA: I have had some really cool experiences. Doing live background vocals for artists like Coopy Bly, Levixone, Limit-X, Ruyonga, Abel Chungu, Mag44, and Pompi. My most recent collaboration was with Brian Lubega on “Teli Akusinga” one of the songs on my HEARTS EP. It’s always a privilege and honor, but my biggest joy is in getting to connect with these incredibly talented musicians off-stage, getting to know each other, learning from them, and getting to encourage them as well on this journey we share.
Andariya: Tell us about your “HEARTS & MINDS” concert and the sentiment behind it.
K!MERA: In 2022 I wanted to release 2 EPs (MINDS in May, HEARTS in September) and the “HEARTS & MINDS” concert in October. With that, I wanted to take people on a journey. No true change can happen without a change in our hearts and minds, so I used the wonderful art of storytelling and music to facilitate that process, helping people visit particular places or spaces, exploring spaces in the hearts and minds where we don't usually go. The theme of air travel proved a perfect fit. A flight on a journey through hearts and minds. I am incommunicably and eternally grateful to my wonderful team for putting this all together. From the graphic designers, band, ushers, promoters, sponsors… Amazing.
K!MERA performing at his Hearts and Minds Concert. Source: Agandy Studios
Andariya: What would you like to be remembered for?
K!MERA: Musically, I want to provide the soundtrack for every moment of my listeners’ lives; at their mountain-peak moments, their most difficult moments, and everything in between. I want them to feel seen, heard, and acknowledged. Overall, though, I want to be remembered as someone who helped people achieve their purpose. That is the contribution I want to make.
Andariya: What does the future for you look like?
K!MERA: I am still doing music and exploring other creative ways to inspire and add value to people. So far, I have done a podcast, released music, done a successful concert, and so on. Next year, I plan to release two EPs. The goal right now is consistency.
To borrow something Denzel Washington said; “On the road to achieving your dreams, you must apply discipline but more importantly consistency, because without commitment, you’ll never start, but without consistency, you’ll never finish.”