With everyday emerging talent in the Pearl, the music industry gets unique talent Artistes everyday. Yo Kuki is one new talent that we bank on to stand out.
Yo Kuki is a man of many talents, from being a song writer and producer, he has now ventured actively into singing. Yo Kuki has released his first single “Monalisa” and it is a song you will put on replay. Monalisa was done in English and Luganda. Written and produced by Yo Kuki, Monalisa video was shot by Grate Make.
Who is Yo Kuki?
Born on the 23rd of November, 1993 Samuel Muhindo, Yo Kuki is a singer, songwriter, and producer. At seven years of age, he was already playing guitar and singing in Sunday school.
He was inspired by his mother, Rosemary Masika Nganza, a Congolese by birth, who he describes as ‘music maestro’. She can write and interpret music notes. He observed and learned from her as well as his uncle, Robert Hunter.
Many people in her family lineage are musicians too. Yo Kuki dropped out of school in 2014 after his father, John Baluku was killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He was attending school at Fountain of Hope High School in Kayunga. His father’s death left him devastated and hurting. “My father was murdered and I had not seen him in four years. It was so really hard for me to take in. As a way to calm me down, I got my guitar and I started playing and singing for my siblings to try and calm them, as a big brother. They were all crying and music was all I could give to console them,” Yo Kuki explains.
As such, music became therapy and a source of healing. which he found in music. He started playing with different bands and was happy to earn from it too.
He describes himself as an alternative musician who does a bit of everything by fusing different music styles from different countries in the world. Listening to his music serves you to afrobeat, rhumba, Bongo Flava, and more.
He looks up to Congolese singer and songwriter Lokua Kanza and Nigerian singer for his musical legacy, rapper and dancer Burna Boy for the way he fuses his music styles and the way he ‘modernized’ Fela Kuti’s music.
Some of his career highlights so far include sharing a stage and playing with Grammy Award winner, Joss Stone, a British singer, songwriter, and actress. He has also shared the stage with Nigerian reggae and dancehall singer and songwriter Patoranking then Nigerian singer and rapper Skales, Zambian-born singer Pompi, worked with Sauti Sol, written and produced for Kenyan hip hop artiste Kharigraph Jones, written and produced for Kenyan artiste Tanasha Donna.
He has played guitar in Fik Fameika’s Buligita song, Cindy’s Boom Party, Sheebah and Bruce Melody’s Embeera Zo, Sheebah and Brotherz Muzik’s Tomorrow, Jose Chameleone and Brotherz Muzik’s Stamina/Mwasi Kitoko, Triplets Ghetto Kids’ Champion (a World Cup project).
He produced Amani, a song about peace that features Lydia Jazmine, Fik Fameika, Chosen Blood, Yese Oman Rafiki, John Blaq, Muz Jo, Vivian Tendo, and Daddy Wise.
The song was sponsored by Acord Uganda and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Yo Kuki is currently working on his maiden music album. The first single titled Monalisa was released on his YouTube Channel on October 1st, 2021.
He is one of the producers working on singer Jose Chameleone’s forthcoming album titled ‘Mr. Joseph’. Out of the 15 songs, he has produced five. “It is a very big milestone for my career. I grew up listening to Chameleone, watching and admiring him just like many youths. Working with him is an experience that I’ll never forget. It got me from somewhere and took me somewhere else in experience and in terms of inspiration because he is someone I’ve learned from,” the 27-year-old musician explains.
The musician and song producer continues to make connections with more Ugandan creatives. He has performed at the Bayimba International Festival of the Arts, Nyege Nyege Festival, Roast & Rhyme social event, and more. On his wish list is the ultimate goal of winning a Grammy Award and make Uganda proud.
He has his eyes on the world stage. He can speak English, French, Luganda, Swahili and understands Lingala and Lusoga.
Watch Monalisa here