Away from her unmissable looks, Ugandan singer Melissa Mulungi has vocals to die for. I caught up with the singing beauty to chat about the interesting and challenging points of her promising career.
At three years old, Mulungi was already in the church choir and that is where her love for music started. Her hit song titled “One Life“” featuring Benji Kasule is a favorite for many music lovers both in the diaspora and back home in Uganda.
A-CHOICES: Kindly introduce yourself to our readers.
MELISSA: I am Melissa Mulungi also known as Melbs or ‘’Shealwaysdoesit’’ I am 25 years years old. I am a musician but primarily a university student currently doing my bachelor’s in health economics I also work as a tutor, I create content and I have a charity organisation that I founded at 18 years of age.
A-CHOICES: How long have you been in the music game and how did you get started in the first place?
MELISSA: My first release was in 2020 during covid titled ‘’Empire of Love’’ but I had been in the Ugandan music industry behind the scenes since 2018
A-CHOICES: Are there any particular songs that you associate with your earliest memories?
MELISSA: In general or songs of my own?
A-CHOICES: Can you tell us a little about your creative process and how far it has taken you?
MELISSA: I try to be very patient with whatever I do I trust my process and do not rush anything it really has opened my eyes and helped my creativity to fully unfold
A-CHOICES: Who is the greatest Ugandan artist of all time?
MELISSA: That is a very hard question as I grew up in the diaspora and my music intake was quite selective by then but I admire so many Ugandan artists for different reasons
A-CHOICES: Which Ugandan Music legend or musician do you look up to?
MELISSA: I would definitely have to mention Juliana Kanyomozi when i was younger now the list is long
A-CHOICES: What do you think of Ugandan music presently?
MELISSA: I personally love Ugandan music it is so fun and entertaining and i have to point out that most especially the new talent that is bringing a more urban sound is making me excited for the future of Ugandan music
A-CHOICES: How has the journey been like since you started on this path?
MELISSA: It has been lesson after lesson and a pleasure working and meeting so many amazing creative people it has been fun but at the same time unexpected
A-CHOICES: What can you highlight as your major artistic inspiration?
MELISSA: I draw inspiration from so much
A-CHOICES: Tell me more about your song titled “One Life” featuring Benji Kasule
MELISSA: One Life is a nostalgic song it brings you back to the early 2000s era when songs were extremely relatable and lyrically storytelling.
It is a relationship song that shows the different possible stages of relationships. Initially, a friend of Benji and I named Douglas was working on a project with Benji and wanted me to feature on the song but I fell in love with Benji’s production, voice, and ease while working with him so I asked if I could have the song and they gave it to me.
while Benji wrote his verse and the chorus I wrote my verse and we created this timeless piece.
A-CHOICES: What inspired you to become a musician?
MELISSA: I’ve always loved singing but I would definitely say church choir had the biggest impact on me and later in age, it was my surroundings so I could not help it.
A-CHOICES: Starting out as a new artist, what are some of the memorable moments that you can never forget?
MELISSA: Releasing ‘’Empire of love’’ and the love and feedback I got for it
A-CHOICES: Which were the first major challenges for you and how did you overcome them?
MELISSA: I have actually not had many challenges other than understanding how the Ugandan music industry is set up
A-CHOICES: How much did your parents contribute to your career?
MELISSA: My father has always been in full support in terms of affirming that I can do it and reassuring me of the God-given talent I have. My Mother has taught me grace and patience which helps a lot
A-CHOICES: Where were you and what were you doing when you heard your song play for the very first time?
MELISSA: I was at my home and I had been informed about it prior so I was just waiting for it
A-CHOICES: How did you react to that?
MELISSA: I was filled with so much gratitude
A-CHOICES: How can you describe the acceptability of your music in Uganda?
MELISSA: Because Uganda is very much party central and mainly consume music in lounges, bars, or Clubs my music has not been received so much but there is a shift happening and high appreciation for it which I am excited about
A-CHOICES: What do you think is the unique piece in your music that fans love so much?
MELISSA: My music is genuine and relatable
A-CHOICES: What has changed much in the industry since you joined/started following it closely?
MELISSA: More acceptance for Urban sounds and new sounds but also the consumption there is more streaming
A-CHOICES: What more would you like to achieve?
MELISSA: There is so much
A-CHOICES: What major challenges have you experienced in your journey?
MELISSA: Understanding how to navigate in the industry and also cross over
A-CHOICES: What is the one thing you are not willing or prepared to do ever, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?
MELISSA: Anything that is illegal or ‘’Sex sells’’
A-CHOICES: What advice can you give to the up-and-coming who currently look up to you?
MELISSA: Belief in yourself, be patient, be kind, work hard, keep pushing
A-CHOICES: Any last words and thoughts to your fans in Uganda?
MELISSA: My dear Peeps thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the love and support you have shown me I certainly do not take it for granted and I promise to deliver more and more greatness while giving back Mwe bange.
Author: Gbenga Teejay Okunlola