Afrobeats is currently getting its shine globally. However, R&B from Africa is one that is slowly rising on the horizon. The soulful mellow genre that often encapsulates love, romance and its affiliates, is making its own African tour; thanks to MAUIMØON.
In the heart of Kampala, Uganda is MAUIMØON: a refreshing singer and songwriter with a producer alias La Soul Chyld.
MAUIMØON creates a dreamy R&B-laced sound that is reminiscent of the early works of Frank Ocean. It’s no surprise that his producer Moniker “La Soulchyld” is birthed from his love for HitBoy.
MAUIMØON’s experiment with various sounds and his wide sonic range allows him to slip in-between his two monikers with ease. The singer MAUIMØON is bold and brazen while the producer La Soulchyld is soft but confident. With a heritage in both Uganda and Rwanda, the artist’s duality is expressed across his art and life.
To understand both sides we spoke with MAUIMØON, who had just returned from his village, Rukungiri in Western Uganda.
Who is MAUIMØON and who is La Soul Chyld?
[laughter] That’s a good question. MAUIMØON is the singer and you’re talking to him now. La Soul Chyld is my production name.
You studied music during your A-Levels, when did you know you wanted to pursue music?
My parents noticed my musical talents earlier on. I’ve always been a music lover. My parents would narrate times I would give the entire row on our flights a recreation of Michael Jackson’s dance moves. Those skills still may or may not be there haha. As I grew so did my interest in music. So in university I pursued a degree in music technology.
What influenced the birth of La Soul Chyld?
My Mother. She had an extensive music collection which she still keeps. Michael Jackson was constantly on replay at home so its no surprise he became a major influence in my songwriting. However, early in my music journey, I heard Audio Push “Come As You Are” produced by HitBot. The way those beats and melodies fused together sparked the inspiration needed to birth La Soul Chyld
Outside of Music, where do you draw inspiration?
Anime, TV Shows and Photography.
Naruto is my favourite anime ever!
I’m currently watching Barry on HBO, but “The Wire” is the G.O.A.T.
I get inspired by photography sometimes, I do not fully immerse myself in it. It’s more like a hobby. I learned a few photography basics on Youtube. Learned how to use photoshop and put ideas together in a collage. I’m still working on perfecting this skill, so I practice by designing my own artwork for my songs.
Whenever I finish a song, I think of the colour it represents, then I progress with finetuning the artwork.
Who does MAUIMØON listen to?
WizKid! His production, the vocals, the sonics and melody, argh!!
I listen to Brandy too, I love her adlibs. Oh and J. Cole.
You know, before the singing, I used to rap. This was in 2013/14. I loved listening to Wande Coal as well. That collaboration with Juls on “So mi so” is a favorite. It would be interesting to see what a MAUIMØON X Wande Coal collab sounds like. [Laughter].
Your growth on DSPs and social media has been so steady. And your fan base seems to be scattered all over the world. What has been your strategy for reaching new audiences?
A lot of collaboration, especially with Ugandan artists. I’m generally trying to collaborate with different people in different demographics so I expand my reach.
MAUIMØON’S from Uganda with Love is a self produced album playing between the genres of R&B and Afro fusion where he thrives most. With the single What You Want being the outlier as the only collaboration on the seven track project featuring Kenyan Mau From Nowhere, MAUIMØON and his alter La Soul Chyld play off each other excellently. From the uptempo single Supahawt to the playful single Really Need and the vocally expressive Felony, MAUIMØON aka La Soul Chyld proves why he’s one to watch.