Primary Instrument: Bass
Ugandan born, Tshaka Mayanja is arguably reggae music's best kept secret. With over five hundred songs already written and arranged, 36 year-old (born Winston Mayanja) Mayanja has made his mark in Africa, as a reggae singer, songwriter, producer and promoter. He has done countless radio and TV interviews in Africa, including interviews on Channel O (Africa's version of MTV on the biggest cable TV network in Africa MNET), and a live interview on Irie FM during the Sting Reggae Festival in Jamaica in 1996, with GT Taylor (top radio DJ in Jamaica) and Copeland Forbes (legendary Jamaican MC and road manager).
In February, 2007, Mayanja was contracted to be a judge for both the auditions and the finals of East Africa’s biggest reality TV music talent search; The Tusker Project Fame project. The TV show was to find talent across the three East African nations; Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. The three month contest ended successfully, with a talented Ugandan female musician that Tshaka spotted at the auditions in Uganda, winning the contest by a huge margin.
Mayanja has also taken artists including UB40 (its final concert with the original line up on Feb 23, 2008 in Uganda), Third World, Dennis Bovell, Shaggy, Chaka Demus & Pliers, Shabba Ranks, Buju Banton, Aswad, Rayvon, Spanner Banner, Papa San, Brian & Tony Gold and Twiggi to Africa for concerts, all in a bid to make reggae the force it is now, in Africa.
Mayanja has also been involved in production for artists including Hugh Masekela, Ringo, Akon and Jonathan Butler during their Ugandan concerts. As a bassist, Tshaka Mayanja is an artist in the mould of his mentors - The Wailers, Prince Lincoln & the Royal Rasses, Sly & Robbie, Roots Radics, Freddie McGregor, Dennis Brown, Third World, Burning Spear, Matumbi and other reggae icons.
The blues, jazz, funk and soul icons are very much inspirations too. Pragmo N'Saiga is a superb pianist, singer, composer, arranger and producer, comfortable with many genres of music - jazz, smooth jazz, salsa, reggae, gospel, blues and more. The BlackRoots UNLIMITED album, The Pragmo'tive Is ii Chill Out (Blackroots Muzik, 2007), is an album made specially for N'Saiga to showcase his talents.
K'Angie Mtime - the amazing vocalist on Dark Chocolate (Blackroots Muzik, 2005) and REGGAEOLOGY - Chapter 1: Bass After Dark (Blackroots Muzik, 2006) - says: Music is something I have loved since childhood. Being a vocalist is what I love the most. For seven years, I’ve been involved in singing; I’ve always loved doing something different, something that isn’t the usual contemporary Ugandan music; something acceptable worldwide so to speak. Thanks to Tshaka, the Dark Chocolate album made my dream come true. It’s the kind of music I sang and felt within me; it’s what I’ve been waiting for, for a long time. For the first time in a very long time, I don’t feel exploited at all. I hope to work with Tshaka for a very long time and hope to reach greater heights. Special thanks to TShaka Mayanja for helping me take a path in music that I never thought I’d take before. Thanks to all my fans that keep inspiring me each day to continue along the path I have chosen.
Source: BlackRoots UNLIMITED
BlackRoots UNLIMITED, The Pragmo'tive Is "ii" Chill Out (Blackroots Muzik, 2007)
BlackRoots UNLIMITED, REGGAEOLOGY - Chapter 1: Bass After Dark (Blackroots Muzik, 2006)
BlackRoots UNLIMITED, Dark Chocolate (Blackroots Muzik, 2005)
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