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Thursday, December 1, 2022

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The man behind Eddy Kenzo’s Grammy nod

Eddy Kenzo’s Grammy nomination in the Best Global Music Performance Category has thrust Asteyn (real name Isaac Owori) in the limelight. The 27-year-old produced the “Gimme Love” song that birthed Uganda’s first nominee at the major music awards. He shared his story with Patrick Ssentongo.

What inspired you into music production?

I started playing the piano at the tender age of five. It was, however, in Grade 4 when I started playing it in church that I moved into music production. I was mostly inspired by the new ideas I always got while on the piano, and thought I would employ them in the music industry. I have been professionally into [music production] for five years now.

How and when did you meet Eddy Kenzo?

A few years back, Beenie Gunter and I had a studio session but we had no studio to record from. He called Big Talent studios to request a session. When we came to the studio, Beenie took me Eddy Kenzo’s office to say hello to him. It was at this point that I immediately connected with Kenzo … at the time, he had no producer to work for him in his studio, so we started working together and here we are today.

How does it feel being a Grammy Award affiliate nominee and what does it mean for your career?

I am so overwhelmed. I never saw this coming, not even in the next few years. At this point, I know my career is destined for greatness because I have never received any award recognition before. The Grammy is my first. For me, it is a dream come true, I would say.

Where did the news of this nomination find you?

I was watching the nominations event live on television with the entire nominated crew—Eddy Kenzo, Matt B and his manager together with some of our associates from the Big Talent team.

What’s the story behind Gimme Love?

Eddy Kenzo was in the United States by then. He called and asked me for beats. I sent him like 30 beats from which they chose to sing on that beat of Gimmie Love. I had made that beat with my then new purchased samples of which I was testing. We recorded the song 10 months ago, and it was thereafter released to all other platforms.

What kind of vibe were you looking for when you created Gimme Love?

I was looking at an Afro dance vibe of which Matt B and Eddy Kenzo did great justice to by coming up with nice lyrics to sit on the beat.

Are there other songs you have produced for Eddy Kenzo that have since won him awards?

Yes, Tweyagale that I produced in early 2020 won him Song of the Year and Artiste of the Year in various awards celebrated here in Uganda. The song has also since garnered over 13 million views on YouTube.

What next after your Grammy affiliate nomination?

Moving forward, I would love to collaborate with more artistes worldwide, as well as grabbing more achievements because I am passionate, hardworking and, above all, I invest a lot of time in my craft.

How do you rate the level of music production in Uganda?

Our industry is growing at a very fast speed. Our sound is improving every day and in a very short time, we are going to be on top of the world. I hold our production way up there.

How much do you charge for producing a song and how can someone reach out to you?

It depends on the song … I am very open to any artiste who comes my way because I am able to record all kinds of genres.

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