David Lutalo’s name is way up there among the best local artistes today. What a story it has been for him right from the time he dropped out of school a couple of years ago, to eking a living as a porter and eventually emerging as a big force in the local industry.
So much of the hysteria surrounding this sharp-dressing singer stems directly from his songs. Lutalo has stamped his name on the local music and perhaps that will be witnessed at his Nakusiima album launch, today at Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala.
Everything Lutalo touches today seems to turn into gold. Gorgeously crafted stanzas, cute syrupy heart-grabbing melodies and beautiful wordplay are the hallmarks of his songs. But little do people realise that a lot of sweat, tears and hard work has gone into getting Lutalo the spotlight.
He faced a lot of humiliation and had many insecurities before getting his breakthrough. To roll back the years, Lutalo’s journey is literally a rags-to-riches story of a child who grew up in a formerly war-ravaged Luwero Triangle, located north of Kampala.
“When I look back at where I came from, it has been one hell of a journey. Yes, many people go through a lot of hardships, but I also have had my fair share of struggles,”
“I was born in Luwero to Robison Lugya and Masituula Nasaazi. My childhood memories in Luwero are of growing up in a poor family that depended on subsistence farming. I remember going to school was hard,” the artiste adds.
His parents could not afford school fees so the singer had to burn charcoal to raise school fees. “Sometimes I worked as a shamba boy or made bricks. Because I could not save enough money for school fees, I made a hard choice I dropped out of school before completing Senior Four and decided to pursue music.”
Right from childhood, the Wololo singer was determined to become a singer. His childhood idols were kadongo kamu stars Paul Kafeero now deceased and Fred Sebaata. He also idolised South African reggae star Lucky Dube now deceased.
“I grew up at a time when Kadongo Kamu and Lucky Dube’s reggae were ruling the local airwaves. So, I decided to become a singer too and felt that it was the only thing that I wanted to do.”
Because he idolised Kafeero so much, he decided to copy his music style. “I was inspired by Kafeero’s melodies and wordplay. I started writing songs at a very early age, but at the time I did not know how to write my own melodies. So I borrowed Kafeero’s tunes and added my words,” he says.
His first kadongo kamu song was titled Nantavuganyizibwa. It is one of the tracks featuring on the Kapapaala album.
“But I soon realised that in life there will always be one Kafeero, so I stopped riding on his back and endeavoured to discover myself musically.”
He recalls that in the beginning, it was tough for him to be accepted, but he learnt to push hard and continue to work on getting better at singing every single day. Today, he has turned his love for singing into a career.