Candid conversation with Uganda’s multitalented artist about his music, acting & his latest gem of an album; Free Dreams.
Maurice Kirya is one of Uganda’s best known secret, he has been in music for a while. As he puts it, he grew up around people involved in music and as it were, he does not disappoint as an artist. Kirya has a skill set that shifts between music and acting, his gorgeous voice and singing style is one of a kind, you have to give it to the guy.
His latest album Free Dreams was released on October 27 on various online platforms and only available digitally, according to the singer, he offers 10 tracks of unapologetic grown up music; he says the music carries a lot of honesty to the man that he is.
Afroway: Hey Kirya how have you been?
Kirya: Hi, I have been well thank you, sorry for the delay but the release of the album had a good hold of me.
Afroway: We get all that, and appreciate your time with us. To start this off, who is Maurice Kirya?
Kirya: I’m a singer, actor from Uganda.
Afroway:Tell us a little about where you grew up and how much it has influenced your music
Kirya: I grew up in Ndeeba in a family that was very involved and talented in music, most of my siblings are into music.
Afroway:How do you, personally, define your kind of music?
Kirya:Right now I just like to call it some kind of soul/r&b/pop it keeps evolving into something new, but my fans still call me the king of Mwooyo.
Afroway: Where would you place soul and R&B music in modern Ugandan and African music sphere?
Kirya: Right in my albums, seeing that I am the only one who is heavily involved in that sound and with that genre in the chats.
Afroway: Do you have that ‘hands on’ in all your production?
Kirya: No I don’t entirely get involved, there is a big team that I work with, each has a strength that the other doesn’t have. I come up with the sound and their job is either to make it fatter or simply challenge it so it can become better.
Afroway: Who is the surprise artist you’ve ever worked with?
Kirya:NE-YO, an amazing singer and a great guy.
Afroway:Recount for us one of your most memorable performances, the shower or car is out of question
Kirya: Now that you have shot down the shower scene, I would say it was my recent acoustic show at Protea, Uganda. It was so raw and there were no celebrity and showbiz semantics to it, it was just voice, guitar, my soul, an audience that inspired me.
Afroway:How do you juggle between being a musician, businessman and actor?
Kirya: It is hard work but I can’t be idle for too long so I guess the juggling things fits in with my character.
Afroway:What is the story behind your new album ‘Free Dreams’?
Kirya: Apart from the fact that it tackles so many deep topics in everyday life and love, it’s also the kind of album that moves people to be in touch with who they really are.
Afroway: Why was this year finally right for a new album?
Kirya:I felt that my fans had enjoyed the last album long enough and it was now time for a new wave, growth and new direction.
Afroway:In terms of writing, how much has ‘Free Dreams’ changed from your previous ‘Mwooyo’ album?
Kirya: Free dreams is UN-apologetic, I call a spade a spade, I am now a grown man and I am more honest with myself. I have no shame in singing about a topic that actually matters to my heart.
Afroway:In your own opinion what is the state of Uganda’s music industry, what needs to be changed?
Kirya:Ugandan music is moving in the right direction, we can’t rush the process, this is the journey it has to take.
Afroway: Let’s drift, creative people generally need something to rebel against, what is it that you rebelled against when you were young, or still do?
Kirya: I cannot be put in a box, if everyone is doing the same thing then I term it too easy, so I create something away from the norm just to be different.
Afroway: Which actor would you wish to play you in a movie?
Kirya:I don’t know but off the top of my head, I know he should definitely look a lot better than me hahahahahaha oh, and the body has to be better than mine, hahahaha, I want people to think I was a singing superhero hahahaha. I sort of am though, without the muscle and the tights though.
Afroway:Got any favorite hangout spot in Uganda, why that choice?
Kirya: Sky Lounge on Sundays, my best friend plays there, he is a deejay.
Afroway: Aside from music what else are you involved in as an African influencer?
Kirya:I am involved in creating awareness about breast cancer and also safe sex.