Producer Speak: Bushingtone – “Coke Studio Produces the Best Mix”
George Bush Kagoda also known as Bushingtone is an acclaimed music producer who originally hails from Entebbe. On Coke Studio Africa, the Ugandan produces a number of artiste pairings including Waje (Nigeria) and Serge Beynaud (Côte d'Ivoire); The Kansoul (Kenya) and Lizha James (Mozambique), as well as Flavour (Nigeria) and Yuri da Cunha (Angola).
“I am not the kind of producer who fights for the limelight. I love for my records to take the limelight,” he says.
“While it was a good experience, it was also challenging to work with different artistes because of fusing different sounds and music direction. However, I like that the artiste pairings on Coke Studio Africa made sure that there was a good mix of styles, language and culture.”
He recalls his favourite moments: “One of my highlights on Coke Studio was producing Lizha James and The Kansoul. When I challenged rapper Kid Kora to sing the bridge of a song, it turned out so well that even Mejja and Madtraxx did not believe that he was singing. That moment made me so happy and proud because he discovered that he can sing well too.”
On the show, Bushingtone produced Flavour and Yuri’s original song Lavida, and had this to say of the duo: “Flavour and Yuri are more of the same. They are great performers, great songwriters and perfectionists. They bring the same energy they have in the studio on stage. The only difference is the language barrier as Yuri speaks Portuguese and Flavour speaks English and Pidgin. Their passion ended up winning because there was a part where they wanted to sing in each other’s languages. We had to do like 20 takes until they got it. I could have done production edits but the two are such professionals with great melodies – I didn’t have to.”
Another one of Bushingtone’s outstanding moments was when Serge displayed his vocal ability.
He says: “One of the songs I produced for Waje and Serge had a beat that was laid back and needed a lot of singing. Serge did it for me because he also came out with so much emotion… you already know that Waje is a really great vocalist.”
Known to many as Radio & Weasel’s long-term collaborator, Bushingtone adds that he has also produced a large number of other Ugandan artistes, plus Kenyan stars Amani and Nameless, among others. After Coke Studio Africa, Bushingtone says he will continue scouting for new talent. He is co-producing the debut album of Coke Studio Africa Ugandan artiste Lydia Jazmine (dropping in 2017). He says he has also planned to collaborate with Flavour and DJ Maphorisa.
Bushingtone’s future looks bright.
“I haven’t exhausted East African music – there is always a lot to be done. My style is in producing new sounds but at the moment it’s hard to drop a new sound in the market. My experience at Coke Studio Africa has taught me that we don’t have to wait till Coke Studio to merge sounds. The different sounds in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania have gone to places so I think [it’s high time] East African artistes merge and collaborate more with artists across Africa – just as in the show.”