Eddy Kenzo

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Eddy Kenzo
Birth nameEdrisah Kenzo Musuuza
BornMasaka, Uganda
Genres
Occupation(s)
Years active2008–present
LabelsBig Talent Entertainment
Associated actsTriplets Ghetto Kids
Websitewww.eddykenzo.com

Edrisah Kenzo Musuuza (known professionally as Eddy Kenzo) is a Ugandan singer and music executive who is a member of Big Talent Entertainment. He received international attention after the release of his 2014 single, "Sitya Loss" and an accompanying viral video that featured the Triplets Ghetto Kids. In total, he has released 4 albums, including most recently, Roots, in 2018. Kenzo has also won numerous national and international awards, including a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award in 2018, a BET Award in 2015, and multiple All Africa Music Awards.

Early life and education[edit]

Kenzo was born Edrisah Kenzo Musuuza[1] in Masaka, Uganda.[2] His mother died when he was 4[1] or 5 years old,[2] and he spent the following 13 years living largely on the streets of Masaka and Kampala.[1] Initially, Kenzo aspired to be a professional footballer[3] and joined Masaka Local Council FC's camp at age 9. He would later receive a sports bursary to attend Lubiri Secondary School in Masaka, but he never finished his studies.[2]

Career[edit]

Kenzo began making music using his stage name, Eddy Kenzo, in 2008. That year, he released his first song titled "Yanimba" with Mikie Wine.[4] In 2010, he released another single, "Stamina".[5] The song was used as a theme song[6] by many politicians during the 2011 Ugandan general election[7] At the Pearl of Africa Music Awards in 2011, Kenzo was given the Best New Artist award.[8] Kenzo also established his Big Talent Entertainment record label early on in his career.[9] He continues to serve as a member of that venture.[10]

Kenzo continued releasing new music in 2012.[11] In 2013, he held his first concert at the Kyadondo Rugby Club that year in support of the track, "Kamunguluze".[12] Kenzo's first major international breakthrough came with 2014's "Sitya Loss" and the accompanying album of the same name. A YouTube video featuring a group of Ugandan children known as the Triplets Ghetto Kids dancing to the song went viral after it was shared on social media by record executive, Sean Combs. Kenzo also started a petition to earn the children an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.[7][13][14] As of 2019, the video has accumulated over 22 million views on YouTube.[15] After the release of "Sitya Loss" and the album of the same name, Kenzo went on a brief United States tour with dancehall musician, DeMarco.[16]

In January 2015, Kenzo performed at the opening ceremonies of that year's Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea alongside Akon.[17] He also performed at the tournament final.[18] Around that time, he produced a remix to his 2014 single, "Jambole", with a guest appearance from Nigerian singer, Kcee.[19] In June 2015, Kenzo was honored with the BET Award for "Viewer's Choice Best New International Artist".[20] He was the first East African artist to win a BET Award of any kind.[21] In July 2015, he performed at the KigaliUp Music Festival in Rwanda's capital.[22] In October of that year, he released a remixed version of his song, "Mbilo Mbilo", featuring Nigerian singer, Niniola.[23] The original version of that song later appeared on the soundtrack for the 2016 film, Queen of Katwe.[24]

In December 2015, Kenzo released the lead single, "Soraye", off of his second album, Zero to Hero.[25] In March 2016, he went on a tour Africa, with stops in Kenya, Ivory Coast, Mali, and others.[26][27] Later that month, he released Zero to Hero.[28] Throughout the remainder of 2016, Kenzo earned a writing credit on Jidenna's "Little Bit More",[29] was featured on the Mi Casa single "Movie Star",[30] and won an All Africa Music Award for his "Mbilo Mbilo" remix.[31] He also went on another US tour late in the year.[32] In May 2017, Kenzo was named the ambassador of the Kenyan Tourism Board[33] and was appointed to a similar role in Uganda the following year.[34]

In July 2017, Kenzo went on a European tour ahead of the release of his third studio album, Biology, a month later. The album featured guest appearances from artists like Mani Martin, Werrason, and Mi Casa, among others.[35] It also featured the single "Jubilation", which had an accompanying music video that won the Best East African Music Video Award at the Zanzibar International Film Festival.[36] He would go on to win two awards at that year's All Africa Music Awards, including Best East African Male Artist.[37] He would later donate that award along with his 2015 BET Award to the Uganda Museum in Kampala.[34]

In March 2018, Kenzo won a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award as the "Favorite African Star."[38] In July 2018, he performed alongside Triplets Ghetto Kids at multiple African music festivals in Canada, including Afrofest in Toronto.[1] He also performed at the One Africa Music Festival in Dubai later in the year.[39] In October 2018, he released his fourth studio album, Roots, which featured the single "Body Language".[40] Kenzo also announced a 10-year anniversary concert in celebration of his time as a musical artist.[41] The concert took place on January 4, 2019 in the Victoria ballroom of the Serena Hotel in Kampala.[42] Leading up to the concert, Kenzo released a new music video for a song from Roots each week for two months.[43]

In March 2019, it was announced that Kenzo would be featured alongside Triplets Ghetto Kids in an upcoming music video for American singer Chris Brown's "Back to Love".[44] In April 2019, Kenzo released the single, "Signal" with an accompanying music video.[10]

Philanthropy[edit]

In 2015, Kenzo launched a charitable organization called the Eddy Kenzo Foundation.[45] In January 2016, he enlisted Ugandan footballers, Tony Mawejje and Vincent Kayizzi, to help donate goods to nursing mothers and staff at the local Masaka hospital. In July 2017, he hosted two charity football matches in Masaka and Kampala that featured Victor Wanyama. The event raised funds for Ugandan children with HIV.[46] In March 2019, he opened the Big Talent Soccer Academy in Kampala.[47] The Academy identifies local youth talent and provides education to help foster their skills.[48]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums with selected details
Title Details
Sitya Loss
Zero to Hero
  • Released: March 21, 2016
  • Label: Big Talent Entertainment
  • Formats: Digital download
Biology
  • Released: August 11, 2017
  • Label: Big Talent Entertainment
  • Formats: Digital download
Roots
  • Released: October 18, 2018
  • Label: Big Talent Entertainment
  • Formats: Digital download

Singles[edit]

List of singles as a lead artist, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"Yanimba"
(feat. Mikie Wine)
2008 Non-album singles
"Stamina" 2010
"Sitya Loss" 2014 Sitya Loss
"Jambole"
"Mbilo Mbilo" 2015 Zero to Hero
"Soraye"
"Jubilation" 2017 Biology
"Body Language" 2018 Roots
"Signal" 2019 To be announced

Nominations and awards[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2011 Pearl of Africa Music Awards Best New Artist Eddy Kenzo Won [8]
2014 Africa Muzik Magazine Awards Best Newcomer Eddy Kenzo Nominated [49]
2014 Channel O Music Video Awards Most Gifted (East Africa) Eddy Kenzo for "Sitya Loss" Nominated [50]
2015 Black Canadian Awards Best International Act Eddy Kenzo Nominated [51]
Afroca Music Awards Best Revelation Award Eddy Kenzo Nominated [51]
2015 BET Awards Viewer's Choice Best New International Artist Eddy Kenzo Won [20]
2015 HiPipo Music Awards Best Use of Social Media Eddy Kenzo Won [52]
2016 MTV Africa Music Awards Best Live Act Eddy Kenzo Nominated [53]
2016 All Africa Music Awards Best African Collaboration Eddy Kenzo and Niniola for "Mbilo Mbilo (remix)" Won [31]
2017 Zanzibar International Film Festival Best East African Music Video Award Music video for "Jubilation" Won [36]
TUMA Music Awards Artist of the Year Eddy Kenzo Won [35]
Best Male Artist Eddy Kenzo Won [35]
All Africa Music Awards Best East African Male Artist Eddy Kenzo Won [37]
Song of the Year "Shauri Yako" Won [37]
2018 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favorite African Star Eddy Kenzo Won [54]
International Reggae and World Music Awards Best African Entertainer Eddy Kenzo Won [54]
Africa Muzik Magazine Awards East African Artist of the Year Eddy Kenzo Won [55]

Personal life[edit]

Kenzo began a romantic relationship with Ugandan recording artist Rema Namakula.[56] On 26 December 2014, Rema Namakula gave Eddy kenzo a daughter at Paragon Hospital, in the Kampala neighborhood of Bugoloobi. Kenzo (real name Edrisa Musuuza), who has another daughter (Maya Musuuza) from a previous relationship,[56] acknowledged he was the father and named the newborn Aamaal Musuuza.[57]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Lee-Shanok, Philip (7 July 2018). "Uganda's Eddy Kenzo grew up on the streets - now he's making his first Canadian appearance at Afrofest". CBC. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Lyatuu, Justus (30 April 2018). "Why Eddy Kenzo keeps his BET award at the museum". The Observer. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  3. ^ Nimusiima, Edward (1 July 2015). "Eddy Kenzo: his journey to stardom". New Vision. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  4. ^ Ruby, Josh (22 November 2018). "Eddy Kenzo's achievements in ten years". Mbu. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  5. ^ Batte, Edgar R. (25 October 2010). "Kenzo launches Stamina album". Daily Monitor. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Billboard Bits: Madonna Opening 'Hard Candy' Gyms, Lady Gaga Chats with Anderson Cooper". Billboard. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Ugandan Video 'Sitya Loss' Goes Viral – Life is Precious but Short". SAPeople. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  8. ^ a b Eupal, Felix (30 January 2011). "Coco Finger not about to stop". The Observer. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Eddy Kenzo, the new Mr Money bags". New Vision. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  10. ^ a b Ruby, Josh (11 April 2019). "Eddy Kenzo flashes love 'Signal' in new song". Mbu. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Kenzo regrets selling show to Balaam". New Vision. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  12. ^ Batte, Edgar R. (25 October 2013). "Eddy Kenzo live in Kamunguluze concert". Daily Monitor. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  13. ^ Ninsiima, Racheal (5 August 2014). "Dance catapults ghetto kids into P. Diddy's world". The Observer. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  14. ^ Whitelocks, Sadie (27 June 2014). "These kids have talent! Ugandan children perform splits and headstands in infectious music video routine". Daily Mail.
  15. ^ Ruby, Josh (8 February 2019). "Eddy Kenzo's 'Sitya Loss' still soaring in the Caribbean". Mbu. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Eddy Kenzo, DeMarco In Sitya Loss Remix". Uganda Online. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  17. ^ Okumu, Phiona (26 January 2015). "The playlist: African pop – Wizkid, Eddy Kenzo, Mista Silva and more". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  18. ^ G-khast, Stuart (4 February 2015). "AFCON finals will be the biggest stage I have ever graced – Eddy Kenzo". Big Eye. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
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  21. ^ Kaggwa, Andrew (1 July 2015). "Eddy Kenzo wins BET for East Africa". The Observer. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  22. ^ "Sauti Sol, Eddy Kenzo rock Kigali". The New Times. 28 July 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  23. ^ Michael, Oghene (6 October 2015). "MUSIC: Eddy Kenzo – Mbilo Mbilo (Remix) ft. Niniola". 360 Nobs. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  24. ^ "Big Ups! MC Galaxy's "Sekem" & Davido's "Skelewu" featured as Part of the Official Soundtrack for Disney Movie "Queen of Katwe"". BellaNaija. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
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  26. ^ Gitau, Elly (3 March 2016). "Eddy Kenzo's Kenyan show thrills fans". The Star. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
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  28. ^ Mugabe, Ronald (29 March 2016). "Eddy Kenzo releases 'Zero to Hero' album". New Vision. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  29. ^ Misiki, Cynthia (24 August 2016). "(AUDIO) Music star Jidenna speaks about working with Eddy Kenzo". The Star. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  30. ^ "Mi Casa has new single with Eddy Kenzo and we love it". Channel 24. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
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  32. ^ Gitaa, Tom (16 December 2016). "Eddy Kenzo to perform in Minneapolis". Mshale. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  33. ^ Kimani, Sheila (13 May 2017). "Ati Eddy Kenzo who is Ugandan is Kenya Tourism Ambassador? King Kaka laments". SDE. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  34. ^ a b Ilado, Lucy (25 April 2018). "Uganda's Eddy Kenzo appointed tourism ambassador". Music in Africa. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  35. ^ a b c Ilado, Lucy (11 August 2017). "Uganda: Eddy Kenzo unveils new album". Music in Africa. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  36. ^ a b Ilado, Lucy (19 July 2017). "Eddy Kenzo wins Zanzibar award ahead of London, New York ceremonies". Music in Africa. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
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  42. ^ Nsubuga, Denis (5 January 2019). "How it went down at Kenzo's stunning 10-year celebration". New Vision. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  43. ^ Julian, Ninsiima (21 November 2018). "Eddy Kenzo to release new video every week for two months". PML Daily. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  44. ^ Ruby, Josh (29 March 2019). "Eddy Kenzo excited by selection to feature in Chris Brown's video". Mbu. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  45. ^ Musa Carter, Sean (24 September 2018). "Eddy Kenzo Shifts Energy to His Charity Foundation". Blizz. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
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  47. ^ Mwesigwa, Solomon (25 March 2019). "Eddy Kenzo glad upon launching his Big Talent Soccer Academy". Mbu. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  48. ^ Atuhaire, Lucky (26 March 2019). "Eddy Kenzo launches 'Big Talent Soccer School'". PML Daily. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  49. ^ Batte, Joseph (13 June 2014). "Uganda's artistes nominated for African Music awards in the US". New Vision. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  50. ^ "The Channel O Africa Music Video Awards nominees". Channel 24. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  51. ^ a b Murimi, Maureen (3 June 2015). "Eddy Kenzo Nominated For Yet Another International Award". Citizen. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  52. ^ "Eddy Kenzo is not amused by the MTV Africa Music Awards". True Africa. 24 October 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  53. ^ "Full list of winners". Pulse. 22 October 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  54. ^ a b Kugonza, David (26 March 2018). "Eddy Kenzo wins another international award". KFM. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  55. ^ "Eddy Kenzo and Ykee Benda win big at AFRIMMA". The Independent. 9 October 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  56. ^ a b Kushaba, Duncan (23 June 2016). "You must respect Rema – Kenzo warns Ex". New Vision. Kampla. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  57. ^ Matooke Republic (27 December 2014). "Kenzo confirms he is the father of Rema's baby, names her Aamaal". Kampala: Matooke Republic.

External links[edit]