INTERVIEW: Pallaso Opens Up His Heart
By Fab Mc
Who is Pallaso?
Pallaso is born Pius Mayanja, a Ugandan musician, father, friend, brother and is a producer, music writer and so many other things.
Why did you cut off the dreadlocks?
My fans, the female fans were complaining that the dreadlocks were making me look a bit old for my age. They like me looking young and fresh you know.
A father of how many kids?
Two kids; a son and a daughter. Dinari and Maisha. My son is five and my daughter just turned four.
When did you start singing?
I started singing in nursery school. That’s when I had my first performance but I recorded my first professional song when I was 12 and I got on stage when I was 12 at Miami club, Kawempe.
You said you started singing when you were in nursery, which school was that?
Happy Hours Nursery School
When did you join the music industry?
Aaah music industry….I don’t even know when I joined. You never know when you joined because I recorded my first song when I was 12 and got on stage and never stopped.
Why did you join the music industry?
I joined because it was always a passion inside me and growing up in a musical family where we had music videos from the biggest stars like Michael Jackson, Lucky Dube inspired me a lot. But also watching my brother Chameleone finally break through. It was after his breakthrough that we all believed our passion was real and things could really happen.
So does that mean your siblings were your biggest inspiration towards your music career?
Yeah of course. We grew up together so watching Chameleone becoming a super star made everything seem believable and also growing up in that family encouraged us to learn from each other. So I would say my siblings have been a big inspiration to me.
You were in the U.S.A for quiet some time and there was no music being produced? Should we attribute your break through to the Goodlife duo after the “Amaaso” hit?
I did a song called “Mudigidde” back in the day before I went to America. But my real breakthrough was with Radio and Weasle on “Amaaso”. You didn’t hear a lot of music while I was away because it is not easy for any artist that is abroad to make an impact on the country.
Does that mean you were doing music while in the U.S.A?
Yeah, I produced a lot of songs including “Change” which I did with The Mess which was a hit song though it didn’t reach Uganda, I don’t know why, probably same reasons of me not being in the country.
What happened in America, why did you come back?
Because I wanted to follow my passion, follow my dreams, I believed I could be a music star at one point. I came back because I felt I had something to say and America was not a great platform for that.
So what are you up to apparently?
I have a concert on 8th December. It’s called “SOMA” concert. Ordinary is ugx 20,000, VIP ugx 50,000 and tables at 2million.
Are there any other artistes performing at your concert?
Yeah, there will be lots of artistes. All of my brothers, all my friends will be performing, friends from other countries will be flying in. This is a concert about Pallaso. I want to give Pallaso to the world. I want to show them how far we have gone and what we have managed to be who we are today.
Do you mind mentioning some of the artistes that will perform?
My brothers, friends, Vivian from Kenya and so many more. I do not want to let the cat out of the basket.
How prepared are you for that concert?
I am very prepared. Rehearsals have been running for four months now, the music is already out with the people and they have loved it. We have Uganda Police for security. I am working with Bantu Music Group. We are working with the best sound in Uganda, which is the Vibes sound so they should expect the unexpected.
What inspired you to come up with “SOMA?”
I am a Ugandan and I believe that through music we can change so many things. Uganda has 40 million people and only 40,000 people have a certificate from a recognized institution. As we look at the factors of fighting income inequality, number one is education so I feel that this song will be the beginning of change in those statistics. I decided to make it a very big movement for the parents that what to keep their kids in school, for the kids that do not want to stay in school to look up to what I am saying.
What are some of the challenges you have faced in the music industry?
Challenges are so many. I have lost a brother, bad peer, some media personalities have sold me to people in a way that I am not, being far from my family, health challenges.
Speaking of being far away from your family, how do you manage being in a long distance relationship?
There is new technology ie skype, whatsapp and the other thing is that they travel back and forth.
Any achievements so far?
My name is known across the world, I have met new people, great friends, I have been able to pass on my message.
Where do you see yourself with in the next five years?
I feel like the sky is the limit so I am doing my work and letting God do the rest.
Any new projects coming up besides your concert?
Yes, I am releasing my soma album and I have a new video dropping soon called “Talk about” and another video featuring a Kenyan female artiste Vivian.
As an artiste, what’s your most embarrassing moment?
I had a knee dislocation at some point as I was performing on stage and I couldn’t get up but the crowd couldn’t understand.
Who is your biggest fan?
It is a girl called Kurstine.
If you weren’t an artiste, what would you be?
I would probably be in America, doing my job as a direct support.
What are your other hobbies apart from music?
Aaaah I love chess, body building, I love drawing and I love nurturing artistes.
What advice would you give to upcoming artistes?
First of all, they need to first make money. Money runs the industry. It runs everything. Audio production needs money. Everything needs money. Make a lot of connections.
What do you do when you are stressed?
I play chess, pool, and talk with friends and sleep.
What’s your favorite dish?
Fish and Rice
Would you say your wife is a slay queen?
No, I think she’s bout being together as a family, raising kids and supporting them. She’s worried about tomorrow and unlike slay queens who worry about today.