Multi -Award winning and hit-songs writing machine Yese Oman Rafiki yesterday released his debut studio album – National ID, released under Route Music.
This follows Kiberu Joshua who is also professionally known to many as Yese Oman Rafiki who has for years penned songs for several artists, many of which have turned out to become hits. I mean, tracks like Vinka’s ‘Chip Na Ketchup’, Bebe cool & Sauti Sol’s ‘Mbozi Za Malwa‘, to mention but a few.
Oman has written for reputable artists Bebe Cool, Winnie Nwagi, Angela Kalule, Jose Chameleon, and among others. He has on multiple occasions written majority of Irene Ntale’s songs, including almost quarter of her SUKALI EP.
Despite being in the background for years, thanks to a few media interviews, and awards such as the Hipipo Music awards, Uganda Entertainment Awards, Buzz Teenies Awards where he has won from time to time due to his craft, crowds were finally able to put a face to the name.
After years of being in the background, the 39-year-old songwriter, entrepreneur, and now singer has dropped his first full length project by the name ‘National ID’; a word that when loosely translated to Luganda is ‘Endagamuntu Album’, a form of identification.
The 14-track project has only one feature;- Jose Chameleon who is onboarded on the album’s lead single “Mirembe”.
Commenting on the album, Yese recalls the events of last year’s lockdown which motivated him to push himself harder hence commencing on the creative process of writing the project. He believes that at such times when the world is going through a lot due to the pandemic, Oman believes his new project can bring healing, sooth anxiety, keep people company and connect to their inner selves.
In honor of his late mother who passed on in an unfortunate incident in June, Yese offers the album as a dedication to her. He further added 3 gospel songs on the album, as a tribute to her.
‘National ID’ the album showcases a modern storybook of African music that bares out a multiplicity of genres, subjects and is presented in English and Luganda languages.
The LP was produced, mixed and mastered by top producer & Route Music’s Eli Arkhis, Bu-i tar Magic, among others, and takes listeners through the journey of life, love, embracing the trials and tribulations that come with it.
Below is a Review Courtesy of Uga Music.
Oman Rafiki opens his album with a groovy Afro-Ganda song titled “African Sugar Daddy” which is inspired by day-to-day life, taking a cheeky look at relationships, amplifying the role of a man as a provider. He sings and arranges the song along-side Bu-i tar Magic while Eli Arkhis was the producer.
Immorash Wa Guan produced “Baby Daddy” sees the songwriter cum singer slows the rhythm as he seeks to relay the fears of a woman who will have a baby with a man but is unsure about their commitment to a lasting relationship.
It is renaissance time in “Obufananyi”, a school love story where a boy and girl cannot easily and comfortably express their feelings. Michael Kitanda fuses it with his sax to deliver a soulful song that’s familiar to the ears of a fan of African music. Rafiki turns things up in “Wait” with groovy kwaito sounds from down South. The overall lyrical message is the need to be patient in love, because as they say, the good things come to those who wait.
Love still dominates on “Tendeka Love”, talking about the experience of love being nice in the heat of it.
Oman Raifiki retraces his Christian roots in “Wampita”, thanking God for his calling as a songwriter and musician. As you take in the gospel song, you might want to know that he is a preacher’s son, born to Josephine Nsubuga, a lead pastor at International Vision Church in Nabiteete, Luweero. The background vocals on the Afro-Ganda song are by Kuki. Elijah Kitaka features on it too. “Nyumbani” (Kiswahili for home).
It draws one in, thanks to the pronounced acoustic guitar and the beautiful arrangement of the songs that fuses drums and solo guitar. The lyrics are simple and communicative.
Rafiki’s love for Kadongo Kamu extends into “Mirembe” to deliver some punchy experiences about the Covid-19 pandemic that led to a total lock-down in Uganda and offered time for people to reflect on their lives and for some to seek new beginnings. In there is the solo guitar and African drums.
He closes his musical project with a song titled “Nakato ne Babirye”, a song about twins and why dating one could lead you into confusing them with another. “I am a student of African music, so I have had the desire to translate our Ugandan sound to be relatable to Africa and the world at large.
Yese’s album arrival comes a few months after one of his signed artists Chosen Blood releasing his maiden album too, back then in January.
The album is available across all digital musical platforms for streaming. Listen Below: