Mya Baganda was the new face of former all-girl group Blu*3 after Cinderella Sanyu left… but that’s just about all you might know. Did you know that she is a mother, fashion designer, businesswoman and farmer? She is also currently pursuing her blossoming solo music career, which has seen her give us hits like Mumpeewo, Shake Your Shankolo and Happy. We are at The One Question Network were excited when she said “Yes” to doing an interview for us.
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Who is the real Mya Baganda?
Mya is a simple, down-to-earth, very social(though many people might not say that, but I am). I love music and I respect my elders.
Why do you say that many do not think you are social?
It’s because of the limelight. There’s this stereotype that when you are in the limelight, you are proud, untouchable and unapproachable. I beg to differ. I like to mingle, I like to get to know people and I think interacting with different crowds is interesting, because you get to see how different their view of life is, compared to yours.
How did you join Blu*3?
Before Blu*3, I was in a dance group called Kombat. We used to do backups for Blu*3. After the band’s launch, Cindy decided to leave the group. And it was during this time that they asked me if I could take her place in the meantime until they sorted out the issue with Cindy. But this dragged on for months. As they had signed contracts with different companies, work had to continue. They put me on probation, I did training and learnt their songs, and soon after became a full-time member in the group. But I didn’t get in easy just like that. They had auditions with other artistes, and I happened to come out as the best and most experienced candidate.
Was the transition for you difficult, given that you were taking over from a former member? Were you scared that the fans would not accept you?
I wasn’t thinking about the fans at the time. I was studying at the time and I was thinking about how I was going to divide my time between school and catching up on the five-year existence of Blu*3, from Frisky till the time I had joined. I had to take time to figure out every detail of how they worked and moved on stage, their interaction with the crowds… all those details. I found it a challenge that I had to learn all that in a small period of time. There was no time to worry about Cindy’s shoes. My biggest worry was how I was going to blend into Blu*3.
As regards to your music, what genre do you sing?
Do you know what they call ‘vulgar’ music? Others call it ‘katogo’. I do a variety, though ‘kadongo kamu’ is not part of this. I like to be flexible. But I look at myself more into urban reggae and RnB, because I am a performer and I like to dance and express myself physically .
Who inspired you to pursue a music career? Which artiste do you emulate?
From way back, there are quite many. My older sister used to listen to Mary J Blige, Missy Eliot, Tupac Shakur and Lauren Hill, and I liked the way they would rhyme and flow, and I liked the soul. But then Destiny’s Child came out and I got inspired. They are the first RnB girl band that I felt were more aggressive on stage, catchy, trendy… they were the in-thing at the time. I found myself trying to mimic them on TV.
“I do have a few businesses on the side as well. I’m into farming. I love farming.”
We at The One Question Network have listened to your track, ‘Happy’, with Jean Brown and we love it. Where did you meet jean Brown?
Well, Jean Brown found me. At that time, my son had just turned two and I was in a very good mood. So I decided that I would do a happy song that anybody could listen to and be happy. I also wanted the video to be colourful because, as Africans, we love colour, and colour creates a happy mood. I also believe I make people happy, whether they like it or not. So I got a songwriter and I told her that I wanted it simple and basic. I also wanted to interact with East Africa and that’s why there’s Rwandese, Luganda, English and Kiswahili.
Besides your career in music, what else do you do?
Motherhood, mostly. I do have a few businesses on the side as well. I’m into farming. I love farming. You can never fully depend on your music. You can never know how things might go. It’s good to have options, which is why I have mine.
Have you had to deal with stalkers, because of being famous?
No, I believe not. I keep my private life private. I don’t share the details of my personal life with the public. There is a boundary I put around myself.
What is your definition of success?
I think success is achieving something you have always wanted to achieve, taking an opportunity and utilizing it to the max, something you see that you have done and are proud of. I also think success is like a drive. You succeed in one thing and then work toward something else.
How would you like to be remembered?
That’s a tough one. I would like to be remembered as one of the greatest stage music performers who had an impact and an influence on people, who made a change and gave back to the community, who used her talent to educate and change the world. Yap. That’s deep. I bet you didn’t see that coming. It’s not just about the pretty face and the jewelry. It would be the most beautiful thing if people can remember you for what you did and the impact you had on their lives.
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