By Dennis Asiimwe
The duo has released their latest single, a song called Miwula.
Kataleya and Kandle are signed onto a record label called Theron Music Records, who have run what might only be referred to as an aggressive marketing campaign for the girls.
Bloggers and journalists all over the place are falling over themselves, referring to the girls as gorgeous (they are not – they are okay – what you might add is that they are in great shape, so their skimpy outfits work for them. If they were gorgeous, they wouldn’t cause a shortage in the makeup industry every time they shot a music video).
These bloggers, some news outlets and even Theron Music themselves, are falling over themselves in an effort to call these girls ‘Uganda’s first music duo’.
There have been various music duos, including I-Jay (Irene Namubiru and Juliana Kanyomozi, who are both still singing, but with solo careers) and the hip-hop duo that was known as Prim & Propa (Brenda Zobbo and one of the Butele sisters, I forget which one). So calling them ‘Uganda’s first musical duo’ is lazy, uninformed and absurdly ignorant. It is also wrong.
However, don’t get me wrong – the marketing machine behind Hadiijah Namakula (Kataleya) and Rebecca Robins Nabatuusa (Kandle) has done an effective job, apart from its obvious flaws.
The girls are everywhere: social media, award shows, news articles, and live performances.
Someone has invested quite a bit in this project to get the industry’s attention.
Another flaw comes to mind – the marketing campaign has kept the identity of the two girls obtuse – I can’t tell who is Kandle or who is Kataleya, even though I know their names.
So purposes of this article, I will refer to them as the brown one (the one that looks a bit like Sid from Ice Age) and the darker one.
Word on the street is that while their performances and their identity is one where they come off as deliberately naughty, the darker girl is the naughtier of the two (for those of you who like to take note of these details).
The folks at Theron Music Records have gotten another thing right – they outsource most of their song writing – even Mudra has written music for Kataleya and Kandle.
It explains why some of their material is half-decent – it is mostly written by professionals.
Miwula follows this pattern – decent melody, decent arrangement, bubble gum production, that sort of thing.
The vocal ability of the girls varies – the darker girl is a better vocalist, more nuanced, better voice control, while the lighter girl is all about sass and attitude.
In an era dominated by social media, Kataleya and Kandle feel like a social media experiment, churning out music that mostly suits Instagram and TikTok feeds.
Is the experiment working? Yes. Even I will accept that. Is it built to last?
All things aside, Kataleya and Kandle are positioned as musicians – their record label should start thinking of them as musicians, and start fleshing them out organically.
Otherwise, right now, they are a pair of successful social media thirst traps, who flaunt their stuff to a soundtrack they produce themselves.