By Hussein Kiganda
US-based Ugandan singer and songwriter Rogers Banya, commonly known by his stage name Roge Banya, is making waves by infusing Ugandan and African musical elements into the North American music scene.
The 44-year-old is not new to the Ugandan music scene, having been thrust into the limelight with his dance prowess in the early 2000s, before he later delved into singing.
With his Afro-pop and Bongo Flava tunes seamlessly blending with Uganda’s traditional beats, particularly Bakisimba, the singer has successfully released hits such as Bugumu Munyumba and Nkuula Nkukule.
Even when exploring foreign sounds, Roge remains committed to incorporating African rhythms.
In his earlier tracks, Omuntu Omu and Yija Ondarire, he integrates Congolese Rumba and South African Amapiano respectively to refresh his musical palette.
When asked about his choice to sing in Luganda, despite his American English-speaking audience, the singer explained that his goal is to promote the Ugandan language internationally and pave the way for Ugandan music and sounds to flourish abroad.
“Why should I give them what they already have? In the States, everyone sings in English, so I wouldn’t stand out. I would love to see Americans embrace our Ugandan songs,” he told New Vision.
Roge’s passion for music has been ingrained in him since childhood, but his heart has always been dedicated to preserving African heritage.
In his pursuit of bridging the gap between his African roots and the global stage, he blends styles and incorporates foreign beats to captivate American listeners.
Roge appears to be crafting a unique music style – a fusion of Afrobeat and American pop.
“Americans seem to gravitate towards familiar yet innovative sounds. My style feels fresh to them. While some beats may resemble what they are accustomed to, the infusion of Ugandan rhythms has truly captured their attention,” he said.
The singer is currently back in Uganda, working on his new music and aiming to inspire the younger generation with his musical journey. He also hopes to collaborate with Uganda’s biggest music icons.
He already has a collabo Wrong Number, with Jose Chameleone.
Roge is eagerly anticipating the premiere of his latest romantic ballad, “Sweetie,” which he hopes will resonate with those in relationships.