- Tempra Omona is one of Uganda’s veteran artistes known for his popular song ‘Nen Awene’
- He returned from USA to resume on his music career which had taken a twist abroad
- His latest song “Gulu’ is first spreading on airwaves across Northern region where he hails from.
For those of you who may have followed Uganda’s music and entertainment industry in the early 2000’s, there was then a big name artiste called Tempra Omona with the biggest local hit then ‘Nen Awene’ (when will I see you again?) which dominated the airwaves across the country and region. You could have caught up with him at Karaoke places in Kampala like Sabrina’s Pub on Bombo road or DV8 behind the famous Cineplex Cinema.
Tempra had just created a unique style of contemporary African music that blended elements of Afro-beat, zouk, lingala and Caribean sounds which was widely accepted in the East African region. That song to date remains one of the most popular Ugandan songs to ever be produced locally. By then the likes of Jose Chameleone and Bebe Cool were also ambitious upcoming young artistes.
Tempra who is an artiste, songwriter and video director then moved to the States and stayed in New York for some time doing music and business before returning about 5 years back to resume the project he started as a 10-year old and is so passionate about. He was inspired in his early life by Bobby Brown and later R.Kelly which probably influenced his first RnB style and genre earlier in his career..
One of the reasons’ the soft spoken man from Gulu packed his bags to return home was mainly to build on his brand and sell his philosophy and identity to the fans, the way he believed it should be and where else to do that than home?
RETURN OF TEMPRA OMONA
So when he returned in 2012, he silently embarked on the mission to achieve this dream. It involved hard work, discipline and patience as the dynamics of Uganda’s music industry had changed from what he had experienced before going to the United States Of America.
He had identified what he wanted and all that was left were the nitty-gritty of production. His music is Africa and done in Luo and many people especially from the North always identified with it and he believes music itself is a language and can be embraced any where regardless of language it is composed in.
‘GULU’ THE NEW SONG WITH A FUTURE
So when he finally decided to pay back his ardent fans from his home-base Gulu, he composed a song titled ‘Gulu’ which swept them off their feet as soon as it hit the air waves. The velvet-voiced song bird has touched and melted the hearts of many with this magic song now playing in night clubs and radio stations across the Northern region.
‘Gulu’ is a mellow fusion of R&B, African sounds and blues which I wrote between 2007 and 2008 when I was still living in New York City. I was very specific about who could produce it but wasn’t sure. But I needed someone who understands the home market, there was no American. So in 2011 when I was returning home for the first time after a decade, I looked for one of my favourite earlier producers David Mukalazi (legendary producer/keyboardist) fortunately he had returned from UK. It was great, so when I landed, I went straight to him and we started working”. Tempera explained to www.chano8.com in an exclusive interview.
However when Mukalazi got tied up, the project was put on hold until he met Charlie King (Swahili Nation) in 2015. Charlie was willing to make a contribution in Tempra’s career after liking his works. After listening to a couple of demos, he settled on ‘Gulu’ and 5 other songs which impressed him the most and straight away kicked off on a mission to produce something great.
“He called in superstar guitarist Marshal Edgar and scheduled next day…. He guided him through what he wanted played. Charlie King took my project with pride and made it his own, In the next weeks and months Charlie would work tirelessly producing, deleting, reproducing again and again till he was satisfied he kept sending me different versions. When he finally was satisfied, I was more than satisfied. He then handed me the work to go mix, which I did with producer SKILLZ and finally released early this year 2017”. He narrated.
And what is in this special song that Tempra and the people of Gulu cherish so much?
“In this song, I portray pride in Gulu, as a son of the soil, I convey a message of endurance, protection of future generations and the beauty of home, family, relatives etc. It has struck Gulu fans on the right note. It’s one of my most talked about songs online, on radio and most shared in WhatsApp groups. I am truly proud of this one song.”He concluded.
You can listen to ‘Gulu’ and other songs by Tempra Omona by clicking here: https://soundcloud.com/tempra-omona
You can also watch his video for ‘Ikura’ below