For many of the millennials from the 90’s, all we ever did was be dedicated ‘pupils’, improve our grades and be good children in our households. 10 to 12 years of age meant spending sleepless nights, enduring through the long days in class as we prepared for Primary Seven final exams.
While we had less concerns about much of what the world around us entailed, it looks like a decade down the road, the concept of being a child, a pupil has taken a drastic change.
Uganda’s music industry boasts of a section of young artistes; singers and rappers alike, who have taken the scene by storm, creating beautiful music, ‘dropping bars’ as it is termed in the rap game, and above all, establishing sources of income for themselves under the care of those holding their hand through the process.
At 10 years, a chocolate complexioned, bold and enchanting Kirabo Tyra, well known by her stage name ‘Stone Age’ is one of the young stars navigating the music industry and what a better way to learn more about the rapper’s world than sitting her down for one of those proverbial good, old girl-chats?
For starters, who is Stone Age and how did you come up with that for a career brand?
I am Stone Age, 10 years old and I am a rapper. I chose the name Stone Age because I am special and it sounds special too.
When you say Stone Age, for me it sounds more of an ancient concept. Again, why Stone Age?
(Gallops the remaining bit of her Mirinda Apple before she clears up her throat).. What I do is unique and like I said, Stone Age isn’t some name one can just have, its special and I am special too.
Alright, I rest my case. Where do you go to school and which class are you in?
I go to Kansanga primary school and I am in Primary Six.
When did you know that you wanted to do music and how long have you been doing this?
I have been a dancer since I was little so my parents and other people around me knew right from the start that i have talent in line with entertainment and performing. Two years ago, my uncle asked me if i wanted to be a rapper and i said yes.
That was the beginning of my journey.
Dreams do change with time and circumstances. Do you see yourself doing music for good or do you have other careers that you are eyeing?
For now i want to do music. But i also want to be a lawyer when i grow up.
Will you then sideline music to pursue law? How are you going to handle that?
I will do both. I think it will be interesting to be both a rapper and a lawyer.
So, who inspires you to do music? Who is your role model?
Recho Rey is my role model. I also love Missy Elliot. Among the males, GNL Zamba is my favourite. We actually did a remix of his Koyi Koyi hit.
What’s your normal day like as per this whole lockdown situation where there is no school and no shows?
I wake up in the morning, I pray to God and greet my parents. Then I do house chores like cleaning utensils, mopping and helping my brothers out with some things.
I read books and then in the afternoon, i do music.
Are you treated any different when you are at school? Do your fellow students address you in a different manner because of your music career?
Well, those who know about my songs give me a ‘cool’ reception. But the teachers, no! When they are going to punish the whole class, they beat me too because I am a pupil.
What has been your major highlight in the two years you have done music and what setbacks have you encountered?
Meeting Douglas Lwanga of NBS was a good moment. (Giggles a bit as she reminisces.) I was happy and we had a lot of fun.
About the setbacks, I haven’t had many problems apart from people who doubt my ability to do what I am doing. Sometimes i meet people and someone is like, “what does she know?” Apart from that, I think my manager deals with most of the other issues.
There are numerous young artists like yourself who are doing music. Do you associate with them? Have you met any of them?
Yes, i have met many of them. I have talked to Felister, Fresh Kid and also Kapiripiti. I think Felister is cool.
What are your other hobbies apart from music?
I love swimming and basketball.
As we wind up, how has the Covid-19 pandemic situation affected you personally?
Ofcourse there is no school and I miss the ‘booking phonecalls’ too. Before, on weekends, I would be asked to go here, there, I had a couple of performances too but all that is down now.
This is 2020, five years from now you will be done with O’ Level. Where do you see yourself as per your music career is concerned?
I hope I will still be giving my fans good music, more and more songs.
Lastly, what do you have to say to your fans?
I thank my fans for loving my music. Also, keep supporting Stone Age and follow me on my social media platforms; Twitter, Instagram and FaceBook- all at StoneAgeUg.