30 May 2011



JG: CAN YOU PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF?

ALEX: My name is Alex Kajumulo. I was born in Muleba, Bukoba, Tanzania. Currently, I live in the U.S. (Seattle, Washington) where I coach youth soccer and run my own soccer training program. It's the only soccer program run by an African in Washington State. When I am not coaching soccer, I am making music, writing books, and designing sports clothing and gear.


JG: WHEN DID YOU START DOING MUSIC & WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU DO?

ALEX: I have loved music my whole life especially when I was a child. I began making music professionally in 1998, collaborating with my good friend Kool James "Mtoto wa Dandu" and the amazing singer Mbilia Bell, from DRCongo. My music can not be labelled by anyone, it is it's own new style. That's why I called my first album "Never Before." You can find this album and all of my music on I-tunes, Spotify, Amazon, and anywhere digital music is sold.


JG: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF BONGO FLAVA & THE KILI MUSIC AWARDS?

ALEX: As a Tanzanian, I love Bongo Flava music. But I don't think Bongo Flava will translate to an international market. If Bongo Flava musicians want to get world wide appeal, they have to do something more original. Someone like Remi Ongallo, who was a true original, his music is still being listened to in the international world music market even today. The music is so good they listen even if they don't understand the language.


You know the Kili Music Awards started from my vision. I wrote up a plan for the Tanzanian Music Awards and gave the plan to James Dandu in 1999. It's not an original idea, it is just a copy of the American Music Awards. James and I presented the first Tanzanian Music Awards. After James died, his wife, Devota, was able to put on one more Tanzanian Music Awards but then she returned to Europe.


The people who are running the Kili Music Awards took the event over and are continuing to this day. They changed the name of the Awards and I do not have anything to do with it. I don't like the way they manage the awards, the awards are only given to insiders and I don't think it is fair and open to all Tanzanian musicians. Our original vision was to recognize original talent no matter who they were, who they knew, or how much money they had. Especially young musicians.


I am working to restart the Tanzanian Music Awards so that I can realize mine and my friend James's vision of making it for all people of Tanzania.


JG: IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU THINK SHOULD BE DOEN TO MAKE THINGS BETTER OR IS IT OK THAT WAY?

ALEX: I am happy for them to continue to hold the Kili Music Awards according to their own vision. But it is not my vision and I would like to bring back the Tanzanian Music Awards for the people. One of the awards I am looking forward to presenting is the JAMES DANDU ORIGINAL ARTIST AWARD for the most original Tanzanian musician each year.

JG: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER UPCOMING ARTISTS & YOUNG PEOPLE OUT THERE?

ALEX: You've got to be original. These days anyone can make music and record with digital equipment so in order to stand out you must be original.



JG: WHO HAS BEEN YOUR INSPIRATION?

ALEX: My inspiration is me! I grew with a lot of problems and no one to rely on. I rely on myself for inspiration and I have gone far, but I always put God in front of me for everything I do, but I am not religious.


JG: WHAT DIFFICULTIES DOU YOU FACE & WHAT ARE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR?

ALEX: The most difficult part of being an independant musician is marketing your music and making enough money to eat.


JG: WHERE DO YOU PERFORM IF ONE WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOU PERFOM LIVE?

ALEX: I only really perform for special events that involve social justice. When I do perform, I perform with a large band, at least 8 members. I perform mostly at College venues, Festivals, and big Theatres.

I am currently organizing a large event to promote Malaria Awareness in Kyela District, Tanzania. The "Malaria is Dangerous" concert will be held on Saba Saba Day (July 7) 2011. This will be my second big "Malaria is Dangerous" Concert. The first was held in November of 2010 here in the U.S. YOu can find clips from the concert on my youtube channel. It was also televised locally and broadcast live on the internet to an audience of over 8 million people.

JG: APART FROM MUSIC WHAT OTHER THINGS ARE YOU INVOLVED IN?

ALEX: Soccer is a big part of my life. I have written a book for children called "Soccer Monster" you can see it at www.soccermonster.org. At that website you can also find information about my training program. You can see my youth soccer team at www.kajumulofc.org. You can find out more about me and my music at www.babukaju.com and www.alexkajumulo.com or become my friend on facebook, look for Alex Kajumulo. You can also find me on myspace at www.myspace.com/alexkajumulo. I have over 85 songs on the market, you can buy them at I-tunes or anywhere else and you can see my videos on my youtube channel at www.youtube.com/user/alexkajumulo.


JG: I HAVE HEARD THAT YOU HAVE A BOOK COMING OUT SOON, CAN YOU PLESE TELL US ABOUT IT AND WHERE WE CAN GET OUR COPIES?

ALEX: My latest book is called FADHAA and will be released this summer. It is a novel (fiction) that asks the question, When love ends, does life continue? I wrote my first novel in Swahili because that is my native language and I love my language. I have written this story for the people of my country. Later, FADHAA will be made into a movie, but I am currently shooting a movie called "Searching for Love" which will be released next summer (2012). Of course, I also have the Soccer Monster book for the children of the world. It is written in English because it is a universal sport. I am planning more Soccer Monster books and translations into different languages.

SOURCE: The interview was conducted by Miss Jestina George.You can read the full interview in HER BLOG WHICH IS AVAILABLE HERE (CLICK THIS LINK)

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