KAMPALA — Lilly Ahabwe the songstress with her magical voice known for tune “Beere nange” in a collaboration with Allan Toniks is back on her feet running.
PML Daily’s Abraham MUTALYEBWA had an interview with her to share with us about her new developments after being off the radar in the entertainment game for a more than a decade.
You were on the Music Scene in 2007 with “Beera nange”. What have you been up to?
I have been living life, growing up and figuring out what I want the rest of my life to look like. Part of that included finishing school, working with a women and children’s rights organization, starting a family and taking time to figure out myself as a person and artiste.
Lilly , since your back behind the microphone, what is in stock for your fans who have been starving ?
I’m working on getting some visuals out for some of the songs on the album. I cannot say when they will ready for certain but they should look out for them.
I would also like to create a more intimate music experience for my fans.
I am working on a project that hopefully will help elevate their experience with Freedonia.
They can also definitely expect more music and already writing new material.
Every year the industry has to brace itself for fresh new talent, should I say you are the one ?
I think there’s so much talent out there just waiting to pop out but I do believe I am one to watch…lol
I have listened to some of your new songs on the Freedonia Album and most of them are in English yet some of us knew you for that banger that was in our local dialect Luganda. What is your plan?
The album does have alot of English lyrics but theres also a song that I wrote almost entirely in luganda especially for those that really loved beera nange. It’s called Njakulinda. However for the album as a whole I deliberately chose to do something completely different from what I was remembered for on Beera Nange. With this particular album the vibe I felt and was going for just led me in that direction especially since the album was personal. I felt the songs would be better expressed in the way I wrote them.
I plan on creating an experience with my music and vibe because I think people really connect with the feeling you create in the music. That said I understand that my music is not going to appeal to everyone but I also know there’s a cross section of people that will vibe with my sound whether the song is in luganda or English.
How many songs are on your Album?
It is a 12 track album
My best song on your Album is Queen. Tell me about the rest.
The opening and title track FREEDONIA is actually an intro and not a full track. It kind of sets the scene by inviting you the listener into my world.
GUKUBA – is a “throw caution to the wind and say how you feel” type of song. It’s also the first song I wrote and chose for the album.
BYE BYE- is about the innocence and nostalgia of first love and recognizing it for what it really was.
MISS YOU (NOT) -is a story of how relationships can suddenly turn dark. It was inspired by my work with women who are victims of Gender based violence.
QUEEN- is such a special and personal song to me. It’s an anthem and love letter to myself and to every other black girl or woman who has ever been made to feel less than. It’s a reminder of who we really are regardless of how we feel or how others may see us.
ABYSS- is a dance hall track about that point of no return in a relationship and how sometimes choosing to take that next step with someone can be a terrifying but exhilarating experience.
OUR LOVE ( EKILAVULAVU) – is simply a celebration of love; young and old.
HOLY MATRIMONY – is a song I really enjoyed writing especially because I feel like marriage is not viewed as cool or sexy. It’s either something people do to tick off a box or view as a life sentence and ban from fun. This song offers a different perspective.
HEAVEN- is another personal and special song to me. It’s a song about loss of a loved one but also about finding hope after death.
NJAKULINDA- is the only all luganda song on the entire album and it is about a yearning between estranged or star crossed lovers. I added this song as a nod to my origins with Beera Nange.
WHEN IT RAINS- was inspired by a Bible verse that says love covers a multitude of sins. In relationships people hurt each other in small and big ways and still find a way back to each other. That’s what this song is about.
KISSES – is probably my favorite track on this album. It’s about that pure love you just have for your child. My son loves music already and loves to dance so this song is a celebration of who he is and what he means to us.
What does Freedonia mean?
Freedonia is a fictional place, in this case the place being my mind and like on the opening and title track it really is an invitation for the listener to step into my world. I feel this concept is made a lot clearer when one listens to the whole album start to finish in order. There is an over arching story in there.
Are you signed to Label or Agency ?
I’m an indie artist under a cooperative agreement with D42 Entertainment.
Most Artists have been gravely affected by Covid -19 since they get their money from gigs. How are you going to catch up with this new normal life ?
I haven’t known anything else because I have come into this during the covid-19 outbreak and the lock downs. I have not had gigs so I have not experienced that side of things. However we are working on a strategy to see how to streamline and bring in revenue inspite the circumstances. For starters people can support by buying and streaming my music at the links on my website lillyahabwe.com
What message do you have for your fans that missed you?
For everyone that stopped me along the streets and said they missed my voice and to those who would not stop nagging me about singing again, to all those who just waited on me and to those who sent beautiful messages about how glad they are that I am back, thank you! You guys are a huge reason I chose to give this another shot. I am humbled that after just one song so many years ago some people still remember me. I can only thank you by making more music and I hope you will support me so that I can continue doing this. Go buy and stream my songs and follow me on social media to know and see what I’m up to.