Sylver Kyagulanyi, is Uganda’s award winning songwriter who has for the last ten years made a tremendous contribution to the music industry of Uganda; starting up careers for some of Uganda’s best artists, sustaining and guiding others.
If you were to search Uganda for an artist so perfect at song writing, Silver Kyagulanyi is your ultimate gold medalist.
His first recognizable hit was congratulations, a song dedicated to celebrating one’s achievement in life and it has maintained its grip on the Ugandan social scene as it is played at almost every party. He also captured Uganda’s airwaves with his olunaku luno, a gospel song that probably announced him as a gospel musician.
Kyagulanyi has written hit after hit, not only for himself but for fellow artistes as well. Julianna Kanyomozi’s Essanyu Lyange, Sophie Nantongo’s Binyuma and Kato Lubwama’s Kirabe Ebiiso are some of Kyagulanyi’s masterpieces. Not forgetting Iryn Namubiru’s Nkuweki that won her the PAM award female artist of the year.
He started singing when he was part of the soprano in Christ the King church choir in the 90s. He caught a glimpse of his music career in senior three when his song won the Youth Alive National Music Festival in 1995.
“It was the first time I ever appeared in a newspaper and on TV. I have never felt any bigger in my life!” he recalls.
Having bagged a win, Kyagulanyi continued developing his talent. During his senior six vacation in 1999, he released Ekyisa Kyabakyala, a song about women emancipation, which pushed him further up the music ladder. But Kyagulanyi is not one to blow his own trumpet.
“My purpose goes beyond writing a hit song and so when I write one, I don’t walk on people’s heads. I only thank God for the gift. What I am always concerned with is that I remain relevant to the industry,” he says.
Kyagulanyi is eons away from the nine-year-old humble Catholic boy whose dream was to become a priest.
He went to Nswanjere Junior Seminary in 1990 and later joined Kisubi Seminary in 1995. He sat for A-level at St Charles Lwangwa Secondary School, Masaka. He was admitted to Makerere University’s Mass Communication programme but left for lack of interest. He joined the Music Dance and Drama programme where he specialized in music.
Kyagulanyi is the director of Sikia Media Services, which produces adverts and television programmes.
watch the space for Part II of his profile detailing his life outside music.