Hailing from Uganda, Afrobar, a young singer-songwriter with a soulful voice, came to Canada just three years ago. He has already made a splash in the local music scene and made it to one of the top five finalists in the Cumberland Music Festival Artist Challenge this summer and was recently on the radio with the Medicine show.
With a new recording project launching late September, he also does live performance at Guilt & Company and has an upcoming show on Sept. 17.
Born to sing
Afrobar, a catchy name that has nothing to do with a drinking venue, is actually a combination of the two things that the artist is proud of: Afro, for his African identity and bar, from part of his real name.
The artist says he has been living and breathing music practically since he was born. He started performing on stage when he was just seven years old.
“I was already singing before that. There was this kind of tree that grows in Uganda and it looks like a microphone. When I was about four years old, I would use it to start singing and I found people had an interest in listening,” he says. “Music is something I appreciate and it is very valuable to me. I probably will be on my deathbed and I will still sing.”
Afrobar loves creating music across all genres, though most of the time he focuses on R&B and soul music. Citing influence from Michael Jackson, he says he wants to do something innovative and groundbreaking in music.
“I just love writing music. I can listen to a certain beat and I start writing on it. I could wake up and want to write a song, or write about a kind of experience that I had. It is a natural thing; even in my dreams sometimes I write music,” he says.
Music with a perspective
Steeped in emotions, the artist feels he has a style and interpretation of music unparalleled to his age, reflecting his mature perspective on life.
“If I don’t accept what I have already, I won’t have a happy life. Everyone has had a hard life, and in the future there will be tougher or easier times. Accepting what is happening, that is fulfilling,” he says. “As a kid from Uganda, if I look at my life from ten years back, I can sleep, it is all good. I wanted to perform on a stage in America when I was a young kid, and when I came to Canada, my dream came true.”
With raw talents and a zen spirit, the artist has bigger dreams and hopes for a bigger stage, not just for himself but also for what he can do for other people through his music.
“I came from Uganda. If I leave and never go back, then probably I haven’t done what I wanted to do. I want to use music to become successful and use that to inspire and help people. I see people need help from all around the world. If I can do that then that is an achievement. I want to have a charitable organization like an orphanage or an Afrobar foundation one day,” he says.
The artist is thankful for his experience in Vancouver, despite some initial difficulties adjusting to new customs that he was not familiar with.
“Vancouver is an open place. I have performed in front of a crowd that was mostly rock-based, but I feel they just love whatever you throw at them. The place is so welcoming, as long as you are here and doing the right thing, you will feel like [you are] home,” he says.
To check out more of Afrobar’s work, please visit www.facebook.com/afrobarmusic.