Interview: Flex D Paper, founder of Eno Hip Hop Festival, tells us what to expect
November 25, 2020
Flex D Paper is a founder of the inaugural Eno hip hop festival that is slated to take place on December 5th and 6th, 2020.
The Clan caught up with him for an exclusive interview
How did the idea of the festival come about
The idea of the festival started a while back, years ago, but we had a vision to hold it this year 2020. Given the current state of hip hop in Uganda, I noticed we have a lot of talent that doesn’t get exposed out there, people lacked a platform to showcase their abilities. There are many hip hop fans out there and so a platform that can bring all the talent to the fan was needed.
Together with my partners, we wanted to hold a real physical show and not an online one but due to COVID-19 we couldn’t do this.
I wasn’t willing to let the idea die for another year though, so we decided to have it still this year but in the form of an online festival.
What were some of the inspirations behind it
My inspiration for this festival is more from festivals all over like Hot97, Rolling Loud, Made in America and Cotton Fest, among others.
Who are some of the performers?
We have a line up of talented acts. Both underground and the mainstream talent.
The showcase is designed in the form of exclusive interviews and also performances themselves.
Expect names like Byg Ben Sukuya, St. Nellysade, Navio, The Mith, Tushi Polo, Babaluku , Da Agent, Sylvester and Abrams and many more.
What challenges have you come across so far
Organizing an online festival isn’t as easy as I’d thought. We have to have pre preparations made as well as the promotion, but the festival calls for a lot of work.
Disunity in some of the hip hop acts as well is a major setback.
You won’t find a lot of rappers or hip hop enthusiasts pushing the festival but are still the same people that will complain about hip hop being below the food chain in Ugandan music industry.
Whenever someone comes up with ideas to help elevate the game, they are bound to face a lot of negativity but what hurts is knowing it comes from hip hop guys themselves. That’s sad. Compared to other genres where people support each other, you’d think that hip hop being a growing genre we would get much more support from within ourselves.
How about the positives, what factors have encouraged you during the preparations
Encouragement has come from the fans online that are in support of this festival. We get messages from fans asking to help in any way to push this festival. People are constantly asking for the line up as well, they are excited. That keeps us working harder to make sure they have the best that day.
Congratulations on your partners/ sponsors, how were you able to convince them to invest in hip hop?
We handle those logistics with our marketing agency, so I can’t speak on that.
Otherwise, A big and special thanks to our media partners, NBS and NXT radio through NxtMedia, Net studios for production, and Hennessy through their distributors Black Hawk
What are some of the things that viewers should look forward to at the concert
Viewers should expect a mix of talent. They should expect a different set up from the usual shows online.
Given this is a hip hop festival, we will for two days, December 5th and 6th, have splendid performances, unique interviews and dj sets. Fashion on another level and more
What do you think about the Ugandan hip hop industry today
The Ugandan hip hop industry is rising steadily. We are building from the foundations created by our elders and so the structure we are creating has definitely got to be strong.
We can see that from how we are an organized genre like having hip hop awards and also now this festival. All these will push the genre further.
Finally, who are your top 5 Ugandan rappers, dead or alive, in no particular order
I don’t have any top 5, top 10 etc
I’m currently a fan of various acts, people come with diversity as well as unique styles and ideas, delivery patterns and production etc. All that we can’t place in one group or be selective. Look at the new young kids killing it, then the older acts that have maintained year in year out etc.