Suzan Kerunen celebrates 10 years in music

Saturday November 25 2017

Suzan Kerunen

Suzan Kerunen at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel Gardens on November 18, 2017. PHOTO | EDGAR BATTE 

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Suzan Kerunen, one of Uganda’s leading singers, marked her 10th anniversary in music with a concert at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel Gardens on November 18, where she launched her fourth album, titled Pimar.

Accompanied by her band, Kerunen sang Umbikulumbi, Faithfull, Echuli chuli, Minkulu, Tuk tuk and Tegiri, Olobo, Lek, Anyira, Hakuna, Pimar, Ugorunan, and Acher Achera, among other songs.

The curtain raisers were local artists Amaru, Afrie, Sewa Ssewa and Giovani. Kerunen, a singer-songwriter, performs contemporary Afro-folk and fusion music mainly in Alur-Jonam (her Luo mother tongue) as well as in English and Kiswahili. 

“The Pimar Crossing Cultures Concert is a celebration of cultures from Uganda. My fourth album features a fusion of cultures and style, leaning towards grassroots sounds. This concert also marks the beginning of a campaign to preserve cultural totems, proverbs, riddles and music,” she said.

Kerunen says there is an opportunity to promote contemporary Afro-folk and fusion music in Uganda. “This can be done through radio, television, festivals and concerts, and also by corporate endorsements through campaigns and advertisement.”

Kerunen started her career in 2004 with her two sisters in an all-girl now-defunct group called Soul of Africa. She launched her solo career in 2006 with her debut album Nimefika, Kiswahili for “I have arrived.”

In 2008, she released her second album, Lek (meaning a dream in Luo) celebrating African diversity and freedom of expression. It includes the songs Lek, Langogogo, Loka Cha, Malaika, Gilaal, Kudi Ngyera and Anyira.  

Her third album Acher Achera followed in 2011. She won the Best Folk Pop Artiste prize at the 2010 Ugandan Pearl of Africa Music Awards, and was nominated in the Best East African and African category in the 2008 and 2009 Kora All Africa Music Awards. \

Kerunen has shared the stage with Yvonne Chaka Chaka (South Africa), the late Miriam Makeba (South Africa), Oliver Mutukudzi (Zimbabwe), Suzanna Owiyo (Kenya), Jamaican reggae band Third World, and Kinobe Herbert with the Soul Beat Africa band (Uganda).