Jeff Korondo is a well grounded artist amongst many from Acholiland. His ability to produce, write,rap, and sing, sets him apart from the others.He brings on stage an amazing live performance along with a unique vocal skill.Acholi Times correspondent Eunice Lamuno caught up with him in Gulu recently.
Acholi Times: Is Jeff Korondo your real name?
Jeff: No, my real name is Jeffrey Kenneth Opiyo
Acholi Times: How did the Name Jeff Korondo came about?
Jeff: Jeff came from Jeffrey and Korondo means “A Tie”, no winner no looser or a draw as some people might say. I got the name when I was about 6 years old, actually before getting into music. As a kid I called my self many names as long as it sounded cool to me and Korondo was cool to me and to my brothers too so they called me Korondo.
Jeff: I wanted to be an Engineer but my father wanted me to be a Doctor. I can still be an Engineer, may be a software engineer.
Acholi Times: How did you get into music?
Jeff: Back in 1992 I use to sing a lot to “Trailer load a gal”, a song from Ragga legend Shabba Ranks, then later another great reggae singer Buju Banton emerged on the scene with inspirational songs like Destiny, Untold Stories and many more; they made me to discover and develop my harsh hardcore voice, an ability that today distincts me from the other northern artistes.
Acholi Times: What led you become an entertainer/musician?
Jeff: I can’t forget the Ugandan Independence day of 1999 when Juma Jammie a radio presenter by then with Radio Freedom put up a Rap and singing competition at Travellers Inn, and I and ma hommie Ritchie Mungu emerged second. Although there was discontent, we had to accept the results. We enjoyed the attention from the crowd and the fun we had at each and every stage of the competition. Then in 2000, in another competition, I made it to first place and that boosted my confidence even more.
Acholi Times: Do you get nervous before shows?
Jeff: Sure, especially when crowds look bored. It makes any artist feel like running to the bathroom first when invited on stage, but luckily it doesn’t happen often though.
Acholi Times: To date, what has been your greatest moment when it comes to your career? Why?
Jeff: I haven’t had a specific greatest moment but had a lot of grateful moments that made me proud; for example my involvement with Save the Children in Uganda in many different projects from Children’s rights, defilement, Children’s manifesto during the 2006 elections right up to Child sacrifice. I have also participated in community outreach performances with Concern Parents Association and in the fight against Malaria with Northern Uganda Malaria & Tuberculosis Programme (NUMAT).
Am also proud of our latest initiative called MUSIC FOR PEACE with Jahria Okwera and an American lady Lindsay McClain in which we embarked on an almost 2 months fund raising project in Gulu and Kitgum to send three local artistes to Sierra Leone in West Africa for an artistic and cultural exchange Programme between conflict areas of Africa. It was very successful much as I dint get to accompany them coz of my examinations at the University but happy I was part of this. Thanks to Lindsay, Mega FM, Country Bakeries and all those who donated online.
I do have my low moments like when denied visa to the United States to perform at a fund raising ceremony organized by Knoxville Jazz for Justice at the University of Tennessee in 2008 and 2009 but the struggle continues…
Acholi Times: which of your many songs is your favorite? Why
Jeff: “Wan Lotino” because of the impact it created on the local community of northern in understanding children’s right.
“Wukwera nono” I feel passionate about this song because it’s the worst thing to be rejected by your own people or stigmatized. This song is about returnees or formerly abducted children coming back from captivity.
“Don’t keep me waiting” coz it’s based on a true story. But I like most of my songs and I feel part of them and they are part of me.
Acholi Times: What support have you received in your career and who are your key supporters?
My fans are my greatest supporters but I also have people and organisations that I collaborate with to support my work. I have benefitted in different ways from Jazz for Justice from Knoxville (USA), Save the Children in Uganda, Mr. & Mrs. Too-Okema, Lecturer at Gulu University and my family and friends.
Acholi Times: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to get to entertainment business?
The entertainment industry or showbiz is cool but competitive and complicated; if you read the game, you will play it right. If ever want to get on board you need creativity and persistence and the ability to cope with technology coz’ and knockbacks, otherwise you will be fighting a losing battle. We’ve heard Hollywood film industries closing down because people don’t go to the movies stores to buy no more, and lots of online businesses and intellectual property violations, copyright violations bluh! Bluh bluh! So much more……so you need to be on the watch!
Acholi Times: What would people be surprised to know about you?
Am completing my Bachelors in Information Technology in a year and a half
Acholi Times: Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with Jamaican singers Buju Banton, Shabba Ranks and Jazz singer Zim Ngawanna from South Africa, I guess the list might still grow.
Acholi Times: what do you have in the pipe line?
I have completed an anti child sacrifice song, called wan wabalo ngo? Commissioned by Save the Children in Uganda it will be playing soon, so watch out for it. I am also looking forward to doing a project on community transformation and involvement for Gulu University but still in the pipe line. I have personal vibes cooking up in the studio too which will be out anytime soon.
By A Web design Company
By A Web design Company