By Dennis Asiimwe
This single is the latest from Vinka and curiously, seems to have been released under the Swangz Avenue umbrella. One supposes she is still signed to whatever international record label picked her up (I forget which I was, but I think it was SONY) and they have some sort of deal with Swangz Avenue, while handling her international engagements themselves.
I have often wondered what happens on the tangible side of things when these artistes get picked up by international labels. Well, for one, they appear to produce more cosmopolitan music – there is something distinctly universal about Thank God. It doesn’t have the usual customised sound of Ugandan music, which is often produced for a very specific audience. While the song is pleasant to the ear, it has a sort of neutrality to it and inoffensiveness.
The other tangible impact of the international record label is an upgrade in production values – more money is diverted to the artiste and it shows in the production values, both for the song itself and the song’s video, which is a visual delight.
But you can’t help but feel that even while Thank God is pleasant to listen to, it flirts dangerously with the possibility of being bland. It teeters on the edge, and doesn’t fall over into the land of being boring because it’s Vinka singing – her voice is anything but ordinary. Her voice is the reason Swangz Avenue believed they could survive the departure of Irene Ntale. Her voice and her larger than life persona – she throws these into the song, and it works. The song also has an intriguing groove, something that sounds like a souped up version of Afro pop – and Zouk. Something that makes it easy to feel compelled to move on a dance floor.
These things explain why Thank God is hogging the airwaves and is equally prominent online – perhaps that record label deal is actually showing some tangible results.