Vinka is the next queen of dancehall after Cindy & Sheebah, says Joel Isabirye


Radio expertise and entertainment guru Joel Isabirye has said Vinka’s song ‘Malaika’ shows the singer is the next queen of dancehall after Cindy and Sheebah. Posting on his wall, Isabirye said the song has thrown Vinka into level with the two stars. Here is his post;  

Vinka“Vinka’s ‘Malaika’ could have finally introduced the next female dancehall star after Cindy and Sheebah respectively.

Although Nessim should have applied stronger vamps in ‘Malaika’ he helped develop a very good dancehall song with a purposeful progression of verse, hook, rhythm, melody and embellishments.

At a time when dancehall was the preserve of male artistes, Cindy swung in with mainstream dancehall making viable linguistic transitions from luganda to patois over dancehall percussions in the process building a name for herself.

Joel Isabirye

Heavily inspired by Tanya Stephens, Cindy constructed a fresh direction for the female artiste in a world dominated by males.

Dancehall (or let us say everything that works in the dancehall, including Soukouss, Najia pop and others) has been very popular in Uganda for ages and for dancehall reggae, since the early 1990s when Charlie Lubega who was consolidating soul disco and later Ange Noir imported 12 inches, 45s and lps from the United Kingdom, of Jamaican acts. we shall return to the other genres in the dancehall space later.

I do not know why Charlie Lubega has never got a musical award here (perhaps because there is limited information about how he shaped the future of Ugandan popular music post 1990).

Sheebah Karungi

between 1993 and 1994, RS Elvis a protégé (if we may say so) of Charlie Lubega within his club circuit went on radio (Friday nights hot mix on 88.2 Sanyu FM) and brought the whole dancehall sound from the club inspiring a whole lot of artistes far and beyond in the country, who looked to Jamaican dancehall as a genre to practice.

Later Ange Noir (now Guvnor) introduced the dancehall jam session which was a very influential moment for dancehall here. DJs such as Bobman (who i still respect as one of the best dancehall DJs i ever heard play around) would create a session of Jamaican b-side instrumentals for all the local icons of dancehall to improvise. Songs eventually emerged from the competitive space of the jam session.

With time club silk introduced its own jam session delivered by the late DJ junior, frank and others. Menton Summer and Orlando found their partnership at this spot.

The dancehall jam session was later replicated in the mobile circuit with deluxe disco (where DJ Ronnie, Ras Khan, Rasta Rob would do the same for Menton Summer and Emperor Orlando) and in several outskirts clubs/pubs like MM Kabuusu, and Xstacy banda (where the likes of Jose chameleone, Raga Compius and others also established themselves).

Shanks Vivie Dee was the very first dancehall artiste to shine (becoming a sensation between 1991 and 1994) before a whole heap of others emerged that included Raga Dee, Menton Summer, John Miles, Coco Banton, Emperor Orlando, Captain Zig Zag, Jacko Waluluka, Bentoli etc.

In spite of these developments there was still no visible female dancehall act although in the homies (Raga Dee and Messe’s group), Sista Slave and Iryn Namubiru did limited editions of dancehall.

Cindy Sanyu

In the early to mid 2000s Blu3 emerged and out of Blu 3 Cindy came, a few years later Sheebah emerged with typical dancehall efficiently fusing its visual aesthetics and its sonic properties.

The arrival of Sheebah (and her consistence) expanded the dominance of the female dancehall star.

I was surprised that in a world of pop where many acts take up new trends and they become proliferated for as long as they seem to be the right formula, Sheebah stayed on the road almost alone for a while.

Although Vinka has a deeper timbre, her rhythmic/melodic style and fashion (characteristics) is similar to that of Sheebah yet she sounds fresh and new which in pop music helps generate appeal and could discard existing acts and she has a very aggressive management team behind her.

The Sheebah camp will have to work on differentiation, which Jeff can take care off especially in asserting pedigree in lyrics and working on masterpieces (both audio and video) where the releases are carefully spaced.

Enjoy Malaika by Vinka


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