Why Many Ugandan Gospel Artistes Are Into Ragga

Ragga is one of the most popular music genres that is believed to have originated from the roots genre, Reggae, that is said to have roots in Jamaica. ‘Raggamuffin’ as is commonly called, is music, usually abbreviated as Ragga, is a subgenre of Dancehall music and Reggae, in which the instrumentation primarily consisting of electronic music.

Unlike Reggae, Ragga usually flows faster and better with a hoarse voice and one good example can be off incarcerated artiste Buju Banton who is one of the veterans of the genre Ragga.

In Uganda, the Jamaican style of singing is truly catching fire as many Ugandan artistes who have been inspired to do it have successfully got bread and butter out of it. We will not forget to say big ups to artistes like Kid Fox, Shanks Vivee Dee, Buchaman, Bobi Wine and many who took the initiative to try it out in Uganda.

The same spirit has also spread its wings to the gospel industry in Uganda. Originally, in the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s, a few gospel songs were done in the Ragga style. It was then perceived to be a style or genre for secular music and one would be considered a ‘thug’. It is of late that, talented young gospel artistes have taken the risk and tried it out with many seeing a bright future in it.


Gospel- Ragga artiste Coopy Bly

Those who take it up do it like the Jamaicans do it, they even blend in the Jamaican Patois language in the lyric though full of inspirational words that hails and glorifies the name of the almighty God. Live examples we have Phila, Kingsley, Levixone Lala, Coopy Bly, Holly Keane Amooti, Zabuli among many others.

When we sought some of the artistes who do gospel music in Ragga, this is what they had to say.

“Ragga is one of the common genres to the Ugandan youth. So I decided to do it so that the youth can appreciate it and besides when I started doing music, that was the generation and that is the music we looked up to.” Coopy Bly told Chano8

Holy Keane Amooti one of the popular young gospel artistes argues that, he was influenced by the environment during the time he started music. He also says he drew inspiration from some of the successful Jamaican artistes then.

“I grew up in a bar listening to the Jamaican Ragga artistes and Ugandans love Jamaican music so I chose to do gospel Ragga because it was part of me. I used to think Ragga was not fit ting in gospel until I listened to Papa San.” Holy Keane Amooti said.


Gospel singer Holy Keane Amooti

While Levixone Lala takes the angle of reaching the youth directly since most of them love and identify with Ragga music and love to listen to the Jamaicans.

“I sometimes do Ragga to attract the young people, if you want to sing to and relate to a thug, u need to sing and act like how thugs do. So we also chose to do it like how the secular Ragga artistes liken Ziza Bafana but our songs carry God’s message.” Levixone said.


Levixone Lala

“It was my calling as a reggae Ragga artiste and God used to show me visions of singing Reggae and I was inspired by artistes like Buju Banton, Capleton although they were doing secular. When I embraced Jesus Christ I got inspired by Papa Son and Reggae Ragga music was the one selling at that time.” Was Phila Kaweesa’s take as he explained to Chano8 the reason he loves to do Ragga.


Ragga -Reggae artiste Phila

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