|Welcome to the International South African based, Ugandan Reggae Star Rob Prophet.|
Q: Rob Prophet, when and where were you born?
A: I was born in 1980 in Gombe Town ,17 kilometers from Capital Kampala, Uganda.
Q: What are your real family names? Are you called Rob Prophet?
A: My family name is Kanoonya and my Christian name is Robert. Rob Prophet is my stage name.
Q: Who were your parents?
A: Ben and Sylvia Kanoonya. We were raised in a family of 5 but with so many difficulties of civil wars which claimed our father’s life. For this reason we seek refuge in the Eastern region of Uganda because the Central Region was so risky to stay in. Hence, we grew up in a Roman Catholic Missionary School, visiting our single parent (Mother) only during end of term breaks.
Q: What made you decide to become a musician?
A: I decided to become a musician as I was greatly influenced, by the fact that music was compulsory at the Roman Catholic Missionary school that I attended. As I sat in my music lessons, I built a strong interest in playing various musical instruments. When I dropped out of the boarding school after form one, I then performed with various bands further building my love for music.
Q: When did you start your professional career?
A: I started working in the music industry from the age of 5 as a professional brass band commander and conductor. At the age of 7 I was able to play written music using instruments like trumpets, side drums, trombones, rhythm guitars, keyboards etc. At the age of 9, I started composing my own music and singing before church congregation official ceremonies.
Q: How did you become a Roots Reggae Singer?
A: The whole idea came about after me listening to Lucky Dube's music. I was also influenced by the sounds and the message of; The mighty slaves, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Alpha Blondy etc. I was also associated with a number of Rastafarians in the The Capital; Kampala in Uganda. we even used to play their music in our performances. Hence the spirit of Reggae music developed in me and will live forever.
Q: How did you fare as a Musician?
A: Actually I have not achieved that much in Music because I was discouraged by my elder brother who sent me back to school, to further my education of through which I attained my qualification as an IT Engineer. This qualification has given me the opportunity to work in so many companies in south Africa and Botswana. I 'returned' to music however, in 2007 as a reformed and professional Reggae Roots artist.
Q: When did you start Professional singing?
A: I started Professional singing in 1997 working with a lot of Jazz bands in Kampala and in the same year I released my English Reggae album, called Justice which received plenty airplay but never succeeded because people were interested in me singing my local language and not English. A year later, I released Temubakuza Bwemutyo which never succeeded as well because it was so Roots Reggae yet people were interested in dance hall. Then that is when I went back to school and came back 'reformed'.
Q: Who were the band members who worked with you on Justice Album?
A: The Band members were from my Reggae Band, called Reggae Prince's at the time were:
Jalone Julius (Bassist),
Robert Nickson (Keyboardist),
Neena Kimberley, Josephine Nakakande and Cynthia (Backup vocalists),
Ismah (Sound Engineer).
Q: How is your music related to other Reggae Icons.
A: Actually Lucky Dube is my top Reggae mentor and that is the exact route I want to take, and if you listen to my heavy drumming and percussions, I respect the beat of 3 in the 4x4 time, which Lucky used to do as well, coupled with the rhythm flow and the Strong driving baseline making me so similar to other Roots Reggae icons.
Q: When did you decide to start your own Reggae Band?
A: It was in 2007 when I had completely decided to start professional Reggae performances and recording, that I got an idea to develop and create the Black Reggae Prophets Band which is famously known as the Prophets Band. So with the use of this backup band everything became possible.
Q: How many are you in the Band?
A: Rob Prophet is the writer, arranger and the Leading Vocalist.
Richard Siluma is the executive producer.
Ralph Ching’amba is the Co-Producer and the leading keyboardist with Limbani Chibwana as the second Keyboardist.
Paul Chokani is the Drummer.
Paul Mponda is the Percussionist.
Chimbota Euphram is the Bassist.
Taku Chokani is the lead Guitarist.
Memory Thindo, Elizabeth Medi, Neenah Williams are Backup Vocalists.
Peter, John and Patrick are the wizards of the wind instruments,
p.s. We are thirteen excluding Managers as well as Sound Engineers that have been left out on this list.
Q: Rob, what does an artist need to do to be a musician?
A: The artist needs to work really hard, with literally a very broad music Background, compose sensible music pieces which portray good morals to Jah Children, and never give up so easily because in music there are so many ups and downs. They need to discover themselves as to which genre they can suite themselves in; not playing hip hop today, tomorrow reggae, another day Rumba.
Q: Why did you release a reggae album?
A: I released a Reggae album because as I said before since my child hood I loved Reggae music and all my mentors were Reggae artists coupled with my association with Rastafarians and me in person becoming a Rasta this made reggae penetrate into my heart and soul hence promised myself that one day I will rock the world with my daily happening compositions hence a Reggae album today.
Q: What do and don’t you like about being a musician in South Africa?
A: I like being a musician in South Africa because there is a lot of professionalism, and talent in the music industry. So for that matter, I am always privileged to a lot of learning and redeveloping of my talent. But, what I do not like about South Africa is the rampant violence which always reflects in my lyrics.
Q: What do you think about SADC?
A: As Africans this the best example we should have and be proud of, you see where there is unity and love then Justice and reconciliation prevails, although some other countries have tried to prove that they are so stubborn, but what they should know, is that they cannot succeed with their violence and corruption for a long time because soon justice will be restored.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: Firstly, I am waiting for the feedback from Jah Children, comments about my new Holiday of love album, before I storm the studios again with the second album.
Q: How many songs are on the Holiday of love album
A: They are ten tracks on the album Holiday of love.
Q: What is the meaning behind each song?
A: African Continent: In this song I extend the grievances that Africa is facing; hunger, endless wars, disunity, talking about our irresponsible leaders etc.
Is this love. If love was all about misery, unfaithfulness and constant rivalry, which then would make marriage pointless.
Holiday of love. I was trying to convince my ex-lover to give me a holiday of love because we had parted for some time but yet she was not willing to listen.
Justice. This when I talk about corruption in the judiciary and big government offices, coupled with injustice to prisoners who are sometimes innocent which act is so rampant in the African societies.
Criminals. This truck names the fallen legends like lucky Dube, Peter Tosh etc who have been victims of crime and a piece of advice is extended to the criminals to stop their aggressive measures.
Black Voodoo. In this song I call for respect for each other’s culture be it White, Black, Colored, Chinese, Indian and other races in order to bring about restoration of togetherness.
Another Chance. I sing about my ex-fiancée who had left me the time I needed her most hence I was begging for another chance.
Rastaman. I advise artists to sing sensible pieces which should teach good morals to Jah Children and at the same time discourage immorality.
Born Poor. This all about poverty but in most cases its being brought about due to intimidation of foreign cultures, aid and governance.
Q: What is the future of Rob Prophet?
A: Rob Prophet has a dream of following the footsteps of his top Roots Reggae Mentors especially Lucky Dube, and modifying what they put in place to improve quality and the standards, in a sense of keeping the fires burning. Jah Bless.
For more info contact Rob Prophet on +27 73 240 2074, +27 780 365 602 or International mobile: (+) 267 71 79 4963
© 2011 Rob Prophet and The Prophets Music RSA