|Birth name||Joseph Mayanja|
30 April 1979 |
|Labels||Leon Island Records|
Chameleone, born Joseph Mayanja on 30 April 1979 in Uganda, is an Afrobeat and reggae musician. His other stage names include Jose Chameleone or Joe Chameleone (sometimes spelled Chameleon). He is one of the most popular Ugandan musicians of the 21st century and enjoys strong popularity in many countries throughout Africa. Chameleone sings in Luganda, English and Swahili. Several of his songs have yielded popular catchphrases, including Basiima Ogenze, Shida Za Dunia, Nekolera Maali and Badilisha.
Chameleone's career began in 1996 as a DJ at the Missouri night club in Kampala while studying at the Progressive Secondary School. He was signed to the Kenyan record label Ogopa DJs. He enjoyed strong success with one of his first singles, "Bageya", which featured Kenyan artist Redsan.
Chameleone's musical style is a combination of Ugandan folk music, central African rumba, zouk and reggae. His first album, Bageya, was released in 2000. By 2013, he had released twelve more albums, including Mama Mia in 2001, Njo Karibu and The Golden Voice in 2003, Mambo Bado in 2004, Kipepeo in 2005, Shida za Dunia in 2006, Sivyo Ndivyo and Katupakase in 2007, Bayuda in 2009, Vumilia in 2010, Valu Valu in 2012, Badilisha in 2013 and Tubonge in 2014.
He is president of Ugandan music label Leone Island. Leone Island has signed many musicians from Uganda and East Africa, including Moses Radio, Weasel, AK 47, King Saha, Papa Cidy, Pallaso and many more.
In March 2014 at the Lugogo Cricket Oval Stadium in Kampala, Chameleone broke the record for the largest audience of any East African performer, drawing an estimated 40,000 fans to his "Tubonge Live" concert. The speaker of the parliament of Uganda, Rebecca Kadaga, designated Chameleone to be the Ambassador of the Busoga Tourism Initiative.
Chameleone is a member of the Musician’s Community, a coalition of musicians who use their fame and fortune to help eradicate poverty and create awareness campaigns for HIV/AIDS. He has performed numerous concerts overseas in such countries as the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium, Malaysia, China, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi, South Sudan, Germany and Switzerland, among others. He is volunteering on a peace mission with returned former LRA rebels as he inspires them to start fresh and humble lives.
Family and personal life
Chameleone is married to Daniella Atim, a daughter of a local religious figure. The couple have four children: Abba Marcus Mayanja, who has released his first single "Game Over" under the name T-REX; Alfa Joseph Mayanja; Alba Shyne Mayanja; and Amma Mayanja. Their wedding attracted significant media attention.
His younger brothers are also musicians. Douglas Mayanja is a musician who performs under the stage name Weasel with fellow musician Moses Radio as part of the Goodlyfe Crew. Pallaso and AK47 are members of Team No Sleep
In December 2012, a man died from burn injuries sustained at Chameleone's house. Chameleone claims the man was an intruder who threatened his family and then accidentally set himself alight with petrol in a jerry can he was carrying. The man's family claims he was murdered by Chameleone's crew who burned him alive. Although the police investigation has come under scrutiny, charges have not been pressed against the singer.
|Jose Chameleone Discography 2000 – 2014|
Most of Jose Chameleone music is available at http://www.djerycom.com