By Dennis Asiimwe
There was a sound called Adult Contemporary – Urban, that evolved in the 1990s. Singers like Gabrielle used it (Remember her hit You Gotta Be?), but almost everyone tapped into it – heck, even Madonna did, with songs like Secrets. It eventually evolved into a sub-genre of its own, typified by a pop-rock cross over feel, with an acoustic feel often augmented by steel guitar. To pull off this sub-genre, you had to be either really experienced, or have some solid pipes on you. In Uganda, tapping into this genre is what helped Naava Grey’s career take off – It was notable that literally no one tried to imitate her, or tried to tap into it either.
Well, Solome Basuuta, who is probably the most daring singer out there, and who refuses to stick herself in a box defining her music, has given this sub-genre a shot with her latest single, Wendi. It works for her, giving her a vibrancy that feels organic (a primary reason why this sub-genre works).
Solome sounds like she is having the time of her life on Wendi, and her vocals are pristine, especially on the song’s chorus.
The song’s harmonies (It sounds like it is her covering her own harmonies) are also delightfully clean, providing a neat tapestry against which she shows off her main vocal work. And Solome likes to show what her voice can do – on Wendi, she goes through the impressive full range that is at her disposal.
The singer has been impressively active during this period that has been blighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and her strategy makes sense – using the obvious vacuum in terms of musical content to dip her foot into the marketplace and let the market place listen to what she wants them to listen to.
Wendi feels like an experiment, a successful one, and it is a sound that we would love to have Solome try out again – easy on the ears while creating an audio atmosphere that permits lyrical clarity. This is exactly the sort of thing that plays to Solome’s strengths, so we would love to hear her try it again.