Navio (rapper)

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Birth name Daniel Lubwama Kigozi
Born (1983-10-18) 18 October 1983 (age 34)
Kampala, Uganda
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper, producer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2000–present
Labels NavCorp[1]
Associated acts Klear Kut, One8, GNL Zamba, Michael Ross, Blu*3, Keith Sweat,[2]Flex D Paper[3] R. Kelly[4] Fally Ipupa, KEKO, DR SID, Burna Boy

Daniel Lubwama Kigozi (popularly known as Navio, born 18 October 1983[5]) is a Ugandan rapper. Starting off his career, he was part of the award-winning Hip hop group Klear Kut that introduced the term "Ugaflow" to describe Uganda's hip hop scene. Navio is best known for his successful solo career with hits such as "Ngalo", "Bugumu", "One & Only", and "On and On" (with American R&B legend Keith Sweat).[6][7]

Since 2010, Navio has been a part of the African supergroup One8. Other members include 2Face (Nigeria), Fally Ipupa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), 4x4 (Ghana), Movaizhaleine (Gabon), JK (Zambia), and fellow East Africans Amani (Kenya) and Ali Kiba (Tanzania). The first release from the group was "Hands Across the World", written and produced by R. Kelly.

In 2014, he was one of the featured artists in the second season of "Coke Studio Africa".[8][9]

Early life and career beginnings[edit]


Navio was born to engineer Daniel Serwano Kigozi and physician Dr. Maggie Kigozi (née Blick). He is the youngest of three children; with an elder brother and sister.[10] He went to Entebbe Church Nursery for infant school and St. Andrews in Kenya for his primary school. The recording artist then joined Aga Khan Secondary school and ISSA (International school of South Africa) for secondary education. Navio was enrolled at Monash University where he studied International Relations and Media Studies.[11]

Career beginnings[edit]

While growing up, Navio listened to a lot of music including his elder brother's huge collection of rap music from artists such as Run–D.M.C., MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, and the Beastie boys and would try to mimic them.[11] When he was about 10 years old, his mother heard him rapping in the living room, and came over and asked whether it was Vanilla Ice rapping. She was so excited that she took him to Baava studio, owned by Hope Mukasa, to record a song.[12]

Klear kut[edit]

Aged 16, Navio formed the hip hop group, Klear Kut with his four closest friends: Tom "Tha Mith" Mayanja, Jonathan "J-Baller" Leslie, Abba "Langman" Lang, and Habib Abdul Hussein aka Papito. The group's debut album, "Mind, Body and Soul" (2000), was a huge success and generated the several hit singles including "All I Wanna Know" (with Juliana), "Remember", and "Let’s Get It on".

The group helped stir the popularity of the Hip hop genre in Uganda.[13]

In 2002, Klear Kut became the first group to receive a Kora award nomination where they were nominated for "Most Promising Newcomer" and 'Revelation of the Year". The following year, the group released K2, their second album. Although it was not as big as its predecessor, it produced the major hits "Mon Coeur 'Murder of Crows'", featuring Rania, and the fan favorite remix "Superstar" featuring Bebe Cool.

They later received the PAM Award for Best Hip hop Group in 2004.[14]

Later career[edit]

Before leaving for South Africa, Navio wrote and recorded a song, “Rukus” with Ugandan recording artiste Peter Miles. The song went on become one of the most popular records of his career. It was featured in the season finale of Big Brother Africa 3 in 2008, four years after its release. During his hiatus, he was occasionally featured on other artistes’ recordings such as the all-girl group, Blu*3’s single “Burn” in 2007, Jemimah Sanyu's "Amaaso go googera" in 2011 and many more

Navio officially returned to the music scene in 2008 after graduating with a degree in communications from Monash University's South African branch. His debut solo album, "Half the Legend" was released in 2009 and generated positive reviews from critics and the audience and generated the singles "Bugumu", "Salooni" featuring GNL Zamba, "Ngalo", and "Respect" with the Kenyan artiste Jua Kali. He was also featured on Bobi Wine's "Badman from Kamwokya". The album earned him the Best Hip hop Artist award at the Pearl of Africa Music Awards and nominations at Kenya's Kisima Music Awards for Best Male Artist, Best Music Video, and Best Hip hop Artist.[15]

Musical style[edit]

Music critics have described Navio's sound and style as unique. "He strikes the balance between an African sound and a contemporary and international flavor that means he appeals to a wide demographic locally and internationally".[16]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Event Prize Result Ref
2016 Buzz teeniez Awards Teeniez Role Model Won [17]



  • Half A Legend (2009)
  • AFRICAN Hustler Music (2010)
  • Pride (2014)
  • The Chosen (2015)


Year Title Director Ref
2015 Work It Featuring Dr SID N/A [18]
2015 Kigozi Jim Resley


  1. ^ "Navio biography - MTV Base". MTV Base Africa. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Navio in Studio with Keith Sweat". MTV Base. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "One-on-One Interview with Navio - Part 1". HiPipo. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Navio - On and On (feat Keith Sweat)". YouTube. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Navio and Keith Sweat Collaboration". Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "Coke Studio Africa Season 2 launched". Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "Navio". Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Uganda: I'm Surprised My Last Born Is a Hip Hop Star!". Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "HiPipo's One-on-One Interview with Navio". HiPipo. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Navio Interview". HiPipo. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "Navio's Journey over the Years". UBETOO. Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "Navio's biography and Discography". UBETOO. Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "Navio Discography". UBETOO. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Navio - Artiste biography and information on MTV Base". MTV Base. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Navio, Dr Sid African stars collaborate in 'Work it' video". Joey Akan. Retrieved 24 February 2016.