In early 2000s, 2003 to be exact, many Ugandans thought Ziggy Dee would revolutionize the local music industry after his blockbuster hit ‘Emo Mic’ was released. He instantly became a household name thanks to his club banger. However, a few years later, Ziggy Dee faded off the scene just as fast as he had emerged on it and life has never been the same.
Born Adam Mutyaba and raised in Makindye 38 years ago, Ziggy Dee is now a father of two. He attended St. Henrys Primary School and then St. Francis SS in Mengo for both O & A Levels. He later moved to South Africa to define his life where he stayed for over six years before moving to Tanzania. It was in Tanzania that Ziggy Dee realized he could sing which led to the recording of his first hit single ‘Eno Mic’.
ChimpLyf’s Shamim Kawalha met Ziggy Dee for a one on one chat in Kasanga at East African Records and talked about his career, life and future plans in the industry.
Why the name Ziggy Dee?
Ziggy means the early man and Dee was for daddy. I love to be called daddy.
Why did you settle in Tanzania instead of returning to Uganda after leaving South Africa?
I wanted a new place to feel at home and Tanzania provided one. I never wanted to be far away from Uganda. I also didn’t have friends back home since I had left the country.
Why then did you decide to move back to Uganda?
After releasing ‘Eno Mic’, I was booked to perform in Uganda but people still called me a foreigner. They claimed I am Tanzanian. In the mid-2000s I decided to come back home and settle. I came here rocked for some time and did collaborations before going silent to pursue a different career.
Talk about going silent, what happened exactly?
I wouldn’t say that there was something that forced me out of the music world. I still have songs in studio and I am still recording. I just wanted to change environment and take care of my kids. Life by then was a little hard for me to handle fame and family. That’s why I opted to pursue my career as an IT Technician.
Do you plan on releasing new music or intend on performing your old ones?
The industry has changed, it’s not like it used to be eighteen years ago. People now days have class unlike then. I am not in competition with anyone but I am ready to prove my skills of hard work that I have always had. I made the songs, I branded myself; my name will forever stays on people’s minds and as per now I am continuing to deliver in a professional way.
How did you meet Bobi Wine?
I had listened to his song ‘Funtula’ by that time and it was amazing, there was something different about his voice so when I came to Uganda I decided to look for him personally and I found him at dream studio. We wrote a song together and later recorded it. I didn’t expect much but the song was a massive hit.
Are you two still friends to date?
Yes we are, once in a while we chat a little. But as you understand he is now a busy man who has a big community to serve both musically and politically, it means he has less time for himself too. At first we were just business partners; we used to look for supporters all the way and hang together during shows.
Would you consider joining politics like Bobi Wine did?
No! That’s not my calling. Politics is for certain people not everyone can be one.
Are you marred or in a relationship?
I would love to put my personal life out of the lime light but I am a father of two.
How was your life as a married celebrity?
It was the hardest thing I went through. Women those days never used to understand that music would bring food on the table probably one of the reasons I put recording on a hold. Marriage brings setbacks to many musicians since most of their partners come from different back grounds. I am not an outgoing person who you would find in a club or out there, but I would say marriage isn’t a walk over.
How did female fans treat you back then?
Then, a few female fans loved us or associated with us but my personal life is different from my celebrity life. So it might be hard for those who crushed to settle in with me. I am not a woman person, I love to settle down with one woman and I respect them.
Would you consider recording a new collaboration with Bobi wine?
Right now it’s hard. Like I said, due to the fact that he has little time but if an opportunity shows itself, I would grab it. However, I had not given it a thought.
Do you use drugs?
I used to but not anymore. I released there was nothing good with them; I was spending more time on them than myself.
Why do you think many artistes use drugs?
The biggest problem is self-esteem because when you hit the stage. It’s not what you people think; the crowd can literally shake you to death. So there are always those people that are willing to advise you on which drug to use as to kill the stage freight in you. It’s out of ignorance that most of them use drugs.
How do you rate the music industry today compared to back then?
Its way different from ours back then, these days it’s more of a walk over where every house has a studio and people have smart phones. In our days, it was hard to record a song; it meant travelling to a distant area, booking hotels, little time in the studio and even being bounced. I would say technology has made it easy for musicians today.
Are you a member of the Uganda Performing Rights Society (UPRS)?
Yes, I am a member and I was paid once.
Is the work UPRS doing well deserved?
I would say every artist should join to get identification. It matters but as for the money collected I would rather keep silent.
What are your favorite local songs currently?
I am a little old school but there are those new songs that I can’t stop singing along to; Chips Na Ketch-up by Vinka, Namagembe by Madoxx, Abogezi by Henry Tigan, Specioza By Bobi Wine and Kiboko by Chameleone.
What are your favorite songs by Ziggy Dee?
Eno Mic, Sumaya, Living Stone, Rafiki and Ampomera.
Any advice to upcoming musicians?
There is nothing new that I am doing in my life, everyone has a dream of what they want to be and how they want to get there. They should be God fearing because it’s Him who gives the wisdom and directions. Some ways aren’t directed by us but by God. And for my fans, I am glad they are still holding on to my music. I am planning to delivering more.