INTERVIEW: There is No Formula to Being on the Charts, It Can’t be Faked – Artiste Shawn Maine

Many people who attended events like the Wizkid in Kampala show, Blankets and Wine last year were able to see and listen to a young artist called Shawn Maine performing.

The 20 year old, who is slowly becoming a household name in the entertainment industry with his music, has been on top of Ugandan music charts several times.

We met up with the rising star to learn more about him and his musical journey.

Tell us about Shawn Maine, who are you?

Shawn Maine is an alternative RnB artiste that fuses many genres to create his sound. Real names Shawn Bisangwa, Shawn Maine is a laid back focus driven artiste.

How did your music journey begin?

Music has always been part of my life ever since I was a child. I was introduced to music at an early age because I’m the last born of 7 so by the time I was a child the household was always vibrant with music from my teenage siblings.

With influence from different artistes like Frank Ocean and Sam Smith, I started singing a lot during high school and developed a huge passion for music so I pursued it professionally.


Not very parent is particularly supportive of their children venturing into performing arts and they would rather they stick to the white collar jobs. Has your family supported your music journey?

Yes they have. I have been lucky enough to be blessed with supportive parents who let me follow my dreams right before I started doing music till now.

At the age of 20, some of your songs are featuring on top Ugandan charts, what’s your secret to making that happen?

There is no formula to being on the charts and that can’t be faked. I have been lucky enough to have loyal people that listen to my sound and appreciate it the way I deliver it in an industry that’s heavily trend driven.

The secret is being authentic with yourself, once that’s done, people love and support you for who you are.

Shawn Maine during one of his previous performances.

What have been some of your ups and downs in your musical journey?

In my journey so far I have been blessed to have an appreciative fan base that love and appreciate my sound, that’s the biggest up for me. Aside from that, being able to open for Wizkid and Jidenna in the same month on two different stages was one of my best experiences.

On the other hand it hasn’t all been rosy, my biggest down side of my musical journey was at the beginning of my career as I tried to find producers to work with to find my sound. It took a long time to get two amazing producers that actually know what I want exactly and do it the way I would like it.

Despite being in a pandemic, you are releasing an EP, tell us about it.

My EP is called ‘After The Pain’ and like the name suggests, the project is about dealing with life after a heartbreak. On the first song, the intro of the EP for example, you will hear me trying to get the attention of a long lost lover but I suddenly give up and just chase after someone else which can be heard on the songs “Run” and “Do It”.

The fourth song on the project “I Hope” is a song to myself/oneself to stay true to who I am/who you are regardless of what the other people around you say or try to change you into.

I wrote every word on this EP from my heart and I hope you feel it as much as I do so that it keeps you warm in the trying times we are going through.

In the next 5-10 years, where do we hope to see Shawn? Any collaborations you hope to do?

That’s tough to tell but in the next 5-10 years I hope to have inspired a lot of youths to chase after their dreams. It would be an injustice to yourself not to follow your dreams before you get too old to do that so I’m hoping I inspire the youth to know that with the right mind and focus, you can do whatever you dream about.

I also think in those years I will have grown too much as an artiste to create a legacy with whatever I do in music.

In terms of collaborations, I would love to work with on the African scene, Burna Boy and Elaine. Elsewhere, I would love to work with Giveon and Rihanna. Hopefully I work hard enough to get to this.



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