When Creativity Meets Chaos: Insights into the Uncompressed Music Scene in Kampala

Episode 15 of the TIMEZONES podcast series, co-initiated and co-produced by Norient and the Goethe-Institut. This episode offers insight into the uncompressed music scene in Kampala, Uganda. It looks into the evolution of (underground) club culture and shows how house parties contributed so much to create the roots of feeling safe and a support system in the music community. It further discusses the importance of the Nyege Nyege label and festival that has gained massive international attention lately.

Many thriving DJs and producers have come out of Kampala’s underground music scene in the past few years. In this podcast episode, we invite our fellow music producers and DJs to share their processes of music production and explain how the city inspires their creativity.

Kampala is a beautiful city surrounded by Lake Victoria and its nature that brings a certain level of peace amidst chaos. We recorded the podcast in the city, relating to the sounds in our surroundings, and how each of the artists connect to different aspects of the city, such as noise, the people, and its environment.

Uganda is a socially conservative, majority Christian and Muslim country. To see the momentum of artists expressing themselves in a free create form is very impressive. We look into the growth of Kampala in the past decade. There’s a lot more light on the music scene now than before. The momentum comes from the multiple cultures that bring along unique sounds that evolve in this creativity space, and there’s a lot of room to be inspired and learn.

Over the years, Kampala has become a global incubator of sounds. We see artists from the diaspora and East African community gaining interest in exploring the city and doing residencies at Nyege Nyege studios (Villa) which has harbored collaborations among artists.

It’s such a beautiful opportunity to bring you into our evolving music scene in East Africa. We hope you enjoy it.


«I see Kampala skyrocketing in a couple of years. There’s so much knowledge musically here and it’s all super organic. All we need, or everyone needs, is just the resource capital, in a way.» Nsasi

«The first software was Fruity Loops.» Rey Sapienz

«It limits the way you view yourself as an achiever when you don’t see a certain kind of people winning in music.» Turkana

«In a couple of years Kampala music is going to be hardcore insane. It’s really crazy and amazing right now.» DJ Flo

«Trying to create order out of the chaos but not too much order because I like to keep this feeling of things being on edge.» Authentically Plastic

 «It’s important that we relate cultures and understand different sounds. But the idea of you have to sound this way to play in a certain place is quite absurd.» Turkana

«It’s been a bit tricky recently with underground club spaces. It seems like the spaces have been shrinking more and more.» Authentically Plastic

«Before Nyege Nyege, there wasn’t anybody doing curation on that level.» Authentically Plastic

 «Being a queer party. There’s also a risk of police raiding the event and maybe certain event spaces don’t want to be liable or they don’t really understand what we are trying to do. We’re living with all these layers of potential sabotage and police intervention.» Authentically Plastic

 «In a place where the ground is poisoned, you know, where the state is by default against you, that has proved challenging. It affects our mental health and our focus on creating events but then when we actually get together and create an event and it’s done and it was a success, it feels amazing. It feels like every time we have a successful event, it’s a miracle. So thankful for that and to have each other to support each other in that process.» Authentically Plastic

 «I always have my computer on me, dropping sketches whenever I am inspired.» Nsasi

«Many girls got into DJing. Before, the scene was a bit very patriarchal. Booking a girl to perform was very hard before, it was just very different. It’s a revolution now.» Rey Sapienz

 «Metal needs somewhere where there’s nature and away from humans.» Martin Kanja

«Elon Musk SpaceX kind of vibe because this is like the center of like music right now in Africa. It’s very open and people are friendly and they’re open to new genres of music and to experiencing new ways of playing and getting the energy from different artists who just come in and out.» Martin Kanja


a podcast by Turkana
IG: @anitakevyn · SC: turkana_ss

 co-initiated and co-produced by Norient …
https://norient.com/timezones · IG: @norientsounds
FB: norient.sounds · TW: @norient · TT: @norient_sounds

… and the Goethe-Institut

https://www.goethe.de/timezones/en · IG: @goetheinstitut / @gz_kampala
FB: goetheinstitut / goethezentrumkampala · X: @goetheinstitut / @gz_kampala

supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia

https://prohelvetia.ch/de/johannesburg/ · IG: @prohelvetia / @prohelvetia_johannesburg

FB: prohelvetia.dach / prohelvetia.johannesburg · X: @prohelvetia / @prohelvetia_jhb


Authentically Plastic (IG: @authenticallyplastic · X: @auth_plastic · SC: @authenticallyplastic)
DJ Flo (IG: @dj_flo_moon)
Martin Kanja (IG: @lord_spikeheart_888)
Nsasi (https://nsasi.bandcamp.com · IG/X/TT: @nsasi_ug)
Rey Sapienz (IG: @rey_sapienz · SC: @reysapienz)

Bonus Talk

moderated and produced by Gloria Kiconco (IG: @gloria.kiconco · X: @gkiconco)

featuring Nsasi (https://nsasi.bandcamp.com · IG/X/TT: @nsasi_ug)

Further Credits

Artistic Editor: Abhishek Mathur
Project Management: Hannes Liechti
Video Trailer: Karrl
Jingle Voiceover: Nana Akosua Hanson
Jingle Mix: Daniel Jakob
Mastering: Adi Flück, Centraldubs
Artwork: Šejma Fere
Copy Editing: Kathrin Hadeler

Sendedatum: 27/09/2023 18:00 - 27/09/2023 18:32

Sprache: Englisch


Tags: Podcast Podcast abendlicht verwundert keine Farbe tauchend