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How Sheebah helped Ykee Benda close deal with his dad

Ykee Benda was to move to France for a master’s degree, but he wanted music more.

Sheebah Karungi and Ykee Benda

In 2015, he graduated with a first-class degree in chemical engineering from Algeria. But before he could pursue further studies, he asked his dad to give him a year to pursue his music career and return to formal education if things didn’t work out.

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He had traveled to Algeria on a scholarship and with oil mining prospects already booming, the master’s degree in France was also to be paid for.

While in Algeria, he saved some of the scholarship money and it’s what he paid Nessim to produce his first songs.

Nessim at the time was at Badi Muzik and he asked Bashir Lukyamuzi, the founder of Badi to sign Benda.

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The first songs they recorded were Kyenkyebula, followed by Munakampala, Farmer (the original without Sheebah), and Singa.

The breakthrough came when Sheebah joined him on the remix of Farmer in September 2016. Ykee Benda had made the deal with his father at the end of 2015 and the remix became a hit before the period they had agreed upon elapsed.

Ykee Benda, real name Wycliffe Tugume, was born in Naguru Estates but grew up in Kireka after his father built a house there. They shifted from Naguru a year after he was born.

He went to Profla Nursery School in Kireka, Shimoni Demonstration School, Ndejje S.S. and St. Lawrence S.S. Sonde. He was a Makerere University Business School (MUBS) for a month before winning a scholarship to study Chemical Engineering in Algeria.

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By S.5, he had fallen in love with the idea of becoming a musician after listening to Mowzey Radio’s song Sweet Lady. They even started calling him Radio at school.

He also drew inspiration from Akon, 2Baba and P- Square. In S.5, he started miming and writing songs.

He started recording music after S.6. There was a studio behind his home.

He recorded his first song with Alvin Kizz at that studio.

After his first song, he started visiting different studios to meet producers and in the process, he linked up with Diggi Baur who was also still new in the game.

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He took a break from pursuing his music career after moving to Algeria where he stayed for four years.

When he returned with a first-class degree from Algeria in 2015, he sat down with his dad and they agreed that he would give music a short for one year. He was to move to France for a master’s degree in case things didn’t work out after that one year.

While in Algeria, he saved some of the scholarship money and it’s what he paid Nessim to produce his first songs.

Nessim at the time was at Badi Muzik and he asked Bashir Lukyamuzi, the founder of Badi to sign him.

The first songs they recorded were Kyenkyebula, followed by Munakampala, Farmer (the original without Sheebah), and Singa.

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The breakthrough came when Sheebah joined him on the remix of Farmer in September 2016.

Ykee Benda is now a household name and he owns a record label record Mpaka Records.

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