Mo Roots is a multi-talented instrumentalist singer-song Writer who is currently Uganda’s best female saxophonist. She performs with the Qwela Band as a lead singer and saxophonist and is a fan favourite not only because of her amazing music skills and talent but also because of her eye-catching and elaborate sense of style particularly the Mohawks that have become iconic.
Chano8 digital magazine recently interacted with the highly talented singer and this how it went down,
Who is Mo Roots? And why Mo Roots?
I am a female musician who loves music and I am a multi-instrumentalist. My name is Maureen Rutabengwa and Roots comes in with my love for staying true to my African
roots and heritage. Therefore Mo Rots is a combination of my name and love for African culture.
When did you start music professionally?
I have been playing with Qwela band for the last 3 years and in that time, I have also started my own band called Soul Deep. My individual band as Mo roots has grown to a higher level.
So what inspired you to get into jazz music especially saxophone?
I started in P7 and my music teacher thought I could do it really well so she introduced me to it and I ended up loving it. When I got into university, I met some students who were really passionate about jazz music. That is where I really grew my love and appreciation for Jazz. My love for jazz really grew while I was in University.
About the evolution of Jazz. It seems to be growing and expanding. What is it that you are doing differently?
People’s minds have been opened up to Jazz music and it’s because we are doing different types of music that are fused with jazz and people are starting to appreciate the different sound and the work and musicality. The love for Jazz is really growing and this could be the perfect justification for the evolution of jazz in this generation.
Read more about her journey in the current chano8 magazine issue here.