Exclusive Interview with Lamu Ugandan Multi-talented Singer-Songwriter and Performer who lately released her highly anticipated brand-new single Fall In produced by Rey Mac.
Ahlam Ismail better known as Lamu is an Afropop Singer, Songwriter and Performer She was born in Soroti, Uganda and from a very young age started engaging with singing and songwriting. She composes unique tunes and songs. Her lovely single “Something About You” received a lot of appreciation.
The talented Afro-Pop singer fuses three different languages from Swahili, English, and Luganda. Her style will get you to want to hear more of her sound. Although she dabbles in such genres, considers herself to be less of the ordinary singer that’s confined to one style, but rather an artiste that uses inspiration from all avenues to paint a bigger picture that is her music.
Hotline Clique decided to do Q&A Interview and this is what the multi-talented singer, songwriter, and performer had to say
Question. Kindly introduce yourself, who is Lamu?
Answer: Ahlam Ismail aka Lamu is a singer, writer, performer based in Kampala, Uganda. I was born on 24/02/1997 in Soroti. My father worked there as a Pilot instructor and later retired and returned to Tanzania with Mom. My two brothers don’t live in Uganda, but my sisters do.
Question: How did you come up with your stage name?
Answer: My stage name Lamu is actually my nickname. I’ve always been called Lamu since I was a baby and most people know me as Lamu even besides the music. So that’s where it came from.
Question: Give us a background of your music career journey?
Answer: I started doing music professionally in 2018. Although my love for music goes back to when I was a young girl, singing in the shower, singing the school anthems, writing in my songbooks and watching music videos on the TV. 2019 was the breaking out point for
me after releasing my song something about you and it’s the video was sponsored by EmpawaAfrica, headed by Nigeria’s Mr Eazi.
Question: Describe your sound?
Answer: My sound is versatile but I do stick towards Afropop which is a mix of Pop music styles and Afrobeats.
Question: What was the inspiration behind Lamu?
Answer: So many things inspire me. But my purpose to live and do better is what keeps Lamu going and what pushes me to do better in life. My family and loved ones and anybody who is out there rooting for me.
Question: How do you market yourself?
Answer: I make a lot of friends wherever I go and I put myself out the real genuine as I can so I believe most people respond to that with the same energy. Some don’t believe in that, but that’s alright. Those who do, they believe in Lamu and they help market Lamu, be it on radios, Instagram, TV, twitter or even the bars and clubs or as simple as text and word of mouth. That support is how I market myself so far.
Question: The industry is full of cut-throat competition. What is unique about you that sets you apart from the rest?
Answer: I sound like Lamu. I may sound like something you have heard before but trust me with time,the more you listen to my music, the more you will realize what I am trying to do. The more the brand goes further, the more it will make sense.
Question: What challenges have you encountered as an artist in the music industry? How have you been able to overcome those challenges?
Answer: There is a lot of pressure in this industry. Almost everybody wants to tell you what to do, what to wear, what to sing, where to go, who to talk to and not to. Sometimes it’s as simple as me looking at what others are doing and feeling like I’m doing so badly. I overcome this by breathing, taking my mind to a good place, a relaxed place, believing my work ethic is mine and my time is mine and at the end of the day I shape my life towards what I need and want it to be. It sounds a little cliche but I believe it has worked before and it is working for me.
Question: In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artiste in your genre today and why?
Answer: Burna Boy. His sound is amazing. His music is selling worldwide. He is being recognized and will be more appreciated here in Africa and out there. He is a true African giant.
Question: Do you make your own beats and write your own lyrics? If you don’t do any of this by yourself, how do you get this done?
Answer: My producer ReyMacc(OkotMark) makes most of my beats. He tracks my vocals so well. He’s the guy. He also helps me write together with MelaninBoy (Gumisiriza Richard). I also write. There is no song I have done that I haven’t had some creative role played in its composition, however small. Together we are part of a creative hub known as TRENDSETTERSUGANDA/TRENDSETTERSAFRICA amongst other talented and smart people.
Question: If you could choose to work with some of today’s established artiste or producers to move your game to the top, with whom would you work with?
Answer: There are so many I wouldn’t know where to start answering that question. Do you mean Ugandan?Kenyan?Nigerian?Tanzanian?S.A?USA?UK?The list is long and they are all so amazing.
Question: Which latest songs, videos, or mixtape releases are currently available to your fans and where can they be heard or downloaded?
Answer: ‘Something about you’ is the single I put out earlier this year(2019). I’ve recently dropped another one called”Fall In”. My music is available on most streaming and download platforms.
Question: Are you under a record label or an independent artiste?
Answer: I am not signed to any label. As I’d said before I’m working as part of TRENDSETTERS.
Question: Is going platinum or winning a Grammy important to you, and if you were forced to make only one choice, which of the two would you choose and why?
Answer: I would choose to win a Grammy. People go Platinum all the time, it does take a lot of work to go platinum but Grammys don’t just come by like that.
Question: Where do you see your self in the next 5 years?
Answer: I see myself seated on the couch rewatching Game of Thrones with my puppies and cats! Lol
Question: What in your opinion is the biggest barrier an artiste like yourself, has to face and overcome to gain any commercial success?
Answer: Our industry in Uganda is as mall box and its hard to breakthrough. Many people want to block the other’s success Instead of bringing the art to light. We bring each other down so much its disgusting. Anyway, I guess to make it,It takes time, patience, hard work, a sprinkle of good luck and money too!!! A lot of it! I believe originality does help a lot too because many people sound and look the same these days. To gain commercial
success easily, one has to do what everybody else is doing.I’m not sure I want that at the moment.
Question: Any advice to aspiring young artists?
Answer: Don’t start if you’re not ready and willing to go all the way. You will lose your love for the music,you will run mad. So keep in mind…breathe and do you!! Keep your support group however small. Keep pushing, it is hard but it is possible.
Question: In closing, tell us something about any projects and ideas you have in store or are already working on?
Answer: I’m into charity work working with a platform known as ANONYMOUS REACHOUT 16, I’m getting into environmental conservation, doing with climate change to be more specific through tree planting which is amazing coz my sister Aisha AlibhaiI Is the PRO at National Forestry Authority/NFA and they are doing such things in Uganda. Otherwise, the music is there. You will love it. Thanks for having me and I appreciate the continuous support.
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