In this exclusive interview with Likkle Bangi, a talented radio presenter and musical artist hailing from Uganda, we explore the captivating journey of her life in the realms of both radio presenting and music. From her roots in a household steeped in music and media to the recent release of her EP “Likkle Bangi,” Likkle Bangi shares her inspirations, challenges, and the harmonious intersection of her roles in the creative world.

Can you tell us about your journey into the world of radio presenting and music? How did it all begin for you?

I grew up in a world of music and media. My late father is a legend in the Ugandan entertainment scene, having been a very talented and passionate DJ, radio, and TV personality during his time. He had a music studio at home filled with collections from his favorite artists, ranging from the most prominent to the underdogs. He introduced me to my first musical inspirations: Aaliyah, Britney Spears, and Rihanna. He often encouraged me to perform my favorite songs by them, providing feedback that always boosted my confidence. He used to create cute CD mixes of songs he knew I would love. I also spent time with him at his radio and TV shows, witnessing his deep passion and enthusiasm for his craft. This experience profoundly inspired me to pursue a similar path, albeit in my own unique way. After he passed away, I made a promise to carry on his legacy, dedicating myself to what I love with even more passion and resilience. My work experience in radio and media officially started in 2016 til date.

As a radio presenter on XFm Uganda, what do you find most rewarding about connecting with your audience through the airwaves?

The most rewarding aspect of connecting with my radio audience is sharing my craft with a loyal following that starts their day with me. Hosting the daily morning show requires me to wake up at 4 am each day to make my way to the station, but knowing that people eagerly anticipate hearing from me daily and even notice when I’m absent motivates me to keep going.

Congratulations on the release of your EP “Likkle Bangi” What inspired the title, and how does it reflect the theme of your music?

Thank you so much. The inspiration behind titling my EP ‘Likkle Bangi’ lies in the message and intention with which I made the project. Through these four songs, I aim to carve my niche in the industry, each track presenting a different persona and emitting diverse energies that reflect different facets of who I am. In the lyrics and melodies, I delve into deep and introspective narratives, showcasing my versatility and ability to transcend genres. As an artist, I resist being confined to a specific box, and ‘Likkle Bangi’ is a testament to my determination to break free from any artistic limitations and showcase my multifaceted creativity.

Can you take us through the creative process behind the EP? Are there any specific stories or emotions you aimed to convey with this collection of songs?

Oh wow! The creative process for this project was quite a journey, spanning five years. I faced numerous challenges, from sabotage and mysteriously disappearing files to producers’ laptops crashing or being stolen, and people trying to influence my creative decisions. Despite these obstacles, I remained focused on my end goal. Crafting beautiful art takes time and refinement before one can truly be content with the results for release. I feel incredibly blessed to have connected with some amazing, talented, hardworking, kind, and professional individuals later on, which allowed me to finally complete and release the project. A special shout-out to Afsa and Clone Me Studios for their contributions to post-production and marketing, and heartfelt gratitude to Wana Benjamin (Wana BeatFella) my producer, Abaasa, and Julius Sese. I hold them dear to my heart.

Juggling between being a radio presenter and a musical artist must be demanding. How do you manage to balance these two roles, and do they influence each other in any way?

In my perspective, radio and music complement each other so well. Having interviewed numerous creative individuals in the industry, when I release music, it becomes easier for me to discuss it in interviews.

Are there aspects of your radio presenting experience that you bring into your music, or vice versa?

The only aspects from radio presenting that I incorporate into my music are resilience, passion, and a constant yearning for growth and improvement.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and how have they shaped your own unique style?

My greatest musical inspirations, discovered in the order that shaped my formative years, include Aaliyah, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Lianne la Havas, IAMDDB, and BlackBear. Aaliyah, the ‘it girl’ of her era, effortlessly blended talent, sweetness, and down-to-earth charm, leaving an indelible mark on me. Britney Spears, the sensational pop star, became the object of my childhood obsession. From notebooks to posters, I amassed every piece of Britney merchandise available. Her unparalleled work ethic and vibrant persona set the standard for pop artists til date Rihanna, the embodiment of fierceness and carefreeness, not only inspired me to infuse her attitude into my brand but also resonated with her distinct alternative style, which I deeply identify with. Lianne la Havas, with her breathtaking vocals and guitar skills, has been a constant source of inspiration since I first listened to her album ‘Is Your Love Big Enough’ in 2012. IAMDDB made being a recording artist seem cool and effortless, and her spiritual depth resonated with me, intensifying my admiration for her. Lastly, BlackBear, the sole male on my list, stands out for his creativity during the ‘BearTrap’ era. His distinctive vocal style, coupled with dark and emotive production, remains a significant influence, making him my most-listened-to artist since 2015.

How has being part of the vibrant artistic scene in Uganda influenced your creative process and growth as an artist?

Being part of the Ugandan music scene has been instrumental in developing not just my artistic skills but also my social and networking abilities. Through various experiences, both positive and challenging, I’ve learned the importance of choosing the right individuals to accompany me on my journey. In the dynamic world of music, networking is not just a skill; it’s a necessity, and the Ugandan scene has been a great teacher. I’ve had my share of learning from experiences, some of which left scars, but these lessons have ultimately led me to the incredible team I am currently working with. They’ve become an essential part of my journey, and the collaboration has been a source of continuous learning. One significant lesson I’ve learnt is the importance of treating everyone with respect, even in situations where it may seem undeserved. This principle not only reflects my personal growth but also contributes to a positive and collaborative environment within the Ugandan music community.

Every artist faces challenges. Can you share some obstacles you’ve encountered in your journey, and how you’ve overcome them? 

Absolutely, every artist encounters challenges on their journey. Personally, I’ve navigated various obstacles that have tested my resilience and determination. One significant hurdle has been the frequent technical challenges with producers, ranging from the loss of files to laptops crashing or being stolen. Overcoming these issues required a combination of data backup strategies, increased cybersecurity measures, and building a reliable network of professionals to minimize the impact of such setbacks. Moreover, I’ve faced the challenge of being sidelined when it comes to consideration for performances on bigger stages. This was a recurring obstacle, impacting not only my exposure but also hindering my growth as an artist. However, the tide began to turn when the House of DJs recognized the need for change in the industry. Their initiative to prioritize and hire young artists, including myself, to grace the main stage of the annual Blankets and Wine festival is a pivotal step towards inclusivity. As well as the Jameson family that I joined this year. This opportunity not only provides a platform for emerging artists but also contributes to the broader transformation of the music landscape in the country. In essence, these challenges have been integral to my journey, pushing me to adapt, innovate, and collaborate with others in the industry. Each obstacle, whether technical or related to opportunities, has become a stepping stone for personal and professional growth, shaping me into a more resilient and versatile artist.

Looking back, what would you consider as the most significant milestone or achievement in your career so far?

The most significant milestones in my journey so far are joining the Jameson family based solely on my skills, experience, and potential as an independent young and up-and-coming Ugandan artist. Additionally, being invited to perform and open for Konshens at this year’s Blankets & Wine edition stands out as a noteworthy achievement. Alongside these accomplishments, the release of my first solid project, the Likkle Bangi EP, has garnered incredible reception. Moreover, being singled out for collaboration with one of Uganda’s best artists, A Pass, represents a key moment in my career. His recognition and appreciation of my craft, coupled with his mentorship in music production, have been invaluable experiences that further enhance the trajectory of my artistic journey. The success of these endeavors fuels my excitement for the future, propelling me forward with a sense of accomplishment and anticipation for what lies ahead.

What can your fans look forward to in the future? Any upcoming projects or collaborations you’re excited about? 

At the moment, I encourage my fans to fully enjoy my new EP and immerse themselves in the messages embedded within. Stay tuned for fresh content on my social media platforms, as I’m gearing up to produce videos for some of the songs and continue crafting more music.

As both a radio presenter and a musical artist, where do you see yourself in the next few years? Any specific goals or dreams you’re working towards?

I cannot disclose that at the moment as it is a work in progress. However, I look forward to sharing my plans with my beloved fans and supporters when the time is right.

Follow Likkle Bangi on Social Media

Instagram : @Likkle_Bangi

X : Likkle Bangi (@Likkle_Bangi)

Facebook: Likkle Bangi

TikTok: Likkle Bangi

YouTube: Likkle Bangi

Listen to the Likkle Bangi EP HERE

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