Known for his signature fusion of African beats, dirty dancehall voice, and soulful lyrics. His songs have become national favorites. This electric mix of sound and style has secured him a position as one of Uganda’s favorite recording and live performing artists. BSG is fluent in English, Luo/ Acholi, Luganda and incorporates each of these into his acclaimed lyrics. Acholi Times caught up with BSG and he told us about his life and music.
Acholi Times: can you please tell us about yourself and your life?
BSG: I was born in a small village in northern Uganda as Denis Labongo on the 25th of February 1983. I am the second born in the family with two brothers and three sisters.
Having completed my primary school education at st kizito and st martins, I attended competent High school at uphill secondary school. Like so many Ugandans, I was forced to drop out after senior six due to financial difficulties.
This money was used to support my mother and siblings. In 1992 at the age of 10, tragedy struck when the lord’s resistance Army abducted my father and I. the out come was catastrophic as my father was shot and killed during the abduction. After a few weeks in captivity, I tried to escape, sadly the attempt was unsuccessful and the rebels tracked me down.
After my recapture, I was shot in my right knee as an example to others who would also try to escape. The abuse was brutal and they used logs and gun butts to break my back and obliterate my left leg. Since my injuries were so severe, I was no longer able to walk and the rebels left me in the jungle to die.
Miraculously, some strangers found me and were able to transport me to a hospital in Gulu. Unable to pay for surgery I never received the much needed medical care.
Today I’m confined to crutches, but with the combination of my tenacity and willpower, I can be seen moving through the streets of Kampala and joyfully dancing on stage. Driven by a spirit of hope, I believe that life goes on and I have made it a personal mission to bring awareness and destigmatisation to other Ugandans who struggle with the hardship of physical disability.
Acholi Times: what led you to become an entertainer?
BSG: I became an entertainer because I love music, and making people happy through my music. I also have a strong desire to spread a message of hope, love and awareness to the people. I used to play instruments like ‘Adungu’,’ lukeme’ (thumb piano) plus a xylophone, all these gave me gave me the desire to become an entertainer.
Acholi Times: how did you come up with the stage name?
BSG: I call myself Blessed Son of God (BSG) because of what I went through in the bush and how I survived death. I saw my self as a blessed one.
Acholi Times: how would describe Acholi music to people?
BSG: in the early days, it was cultural with a lot of folk tunes and basically situational. However, to day the music is diverse with a mixture of tunes from the western music.
Acholi Times: what influenced you to do what you do?
BSG: basically I was influenced by the passion I have for music. Then I also got inspired by musicians like Bujjubanton, bustarymes, I loved their lyrics.
Acholi Times: what do you love most about Acholi culture?
BSG: I love the way it teaches people to respect one another and its acknowledgment of the truth about life.
Acholi Times: which other Acholi artist / group have you worked with?
BSG: I have featured Boogie Moore and GNL in a song called Hypocrites.
Acholi Times: what role do you think has music/entertainment played in supportingpeople throughout the war period?
BSG: music consoled people during the war period. I also sung ‘Abokalam’ and ‘Nene Con’ for that cause.
Acholi Times: what changes has the war brought and how has it impacted on Acholimusic and culture?
BSG: The war brought popularity to Acholi music and culture, because we were signing about the destruction of culture and a people.
Acholi Times: tell us briefly what you went through to put together such great work?
BSG: It has not been that easy, because at first people accept the music, so breaking through was not that easy, but I managed to overcome this through live performances. The other challenge I have is the overall high cost of music production. I am a talented writer and composer and I have written many songs, and mixed many beats, but cannot raise the funds to produce them since am doing everything by myself.
Acholi Times: what is in the pipeline?
BSG: I am hoping to launch my new album called my prayer. By 2011, I want all my videos released.
Acholi Times: Lastly: Do you have any special message for your fans and lovers ofAcholi culture?
BSG: I respect all my fans because they make me what I am. I ask them to keep up the spirit; I will not let them down. By A Web design Company
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