Joshua Baraka: It’s been God all the way
March 27, 2023
It seems like everywhere you turn, it’s “Oh NANA baby!” Number one on Digital platforms, radio and TV countdowns, and on heavy rotation on every DJs’ playlist, the song is everywhere, all the time. On social media it’s trending and has earned the artist a number of verification ticks and thousands of likes and views.
Joshua Baraka has set Kampala alight, and the flames have spread all over the country finding their way into Kigali, Nairobi and other cities. The Clan caught up with him.
People have talked about how down to Earth and approachable you are. The bigger you grow, the humbler you seem. What keeps you grounded?
I guess that’s just how I am. I am just blessed, it’s God who has done it all and it’s not by my might.
How did the environment you grew up in contribute to the artist you have become today?
My mum was a worship team leader. She used to play music all the time and taught me how to sing. My dad is a pastor so I used to tag along when he was going to preach and I slowly started to play instruments in church.
What are your spiritual beliefs?
I am a Born Again Christian and I believe Jesus Christ is the son of God, who died for my sins.
Growing up, which songs stood out for you – who were your favorite musicians
When I was a kid it was Radio and Weasel. Bread and butter was my jam.
You’re quite young, barely 21, and yet you have two very successful EPs under your belt, and one of the biggest songs in the country right now. What motivates you to stay disciplined and productive?
I am very passionate about what I do and so I want to be one of the greatest to do it. When I put my achievements against the greats, in my books, I’m not even close so I just have to push harder to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself.
What do you find attractive in a lady?
Her sense of humor. Her taste in music. How much of a nice person she is and then obviously how she looks.
How do you handle the female attention that’s probably coming your way?
It’s not that much, honestly. I’m very occupied and I have no time to engage in some activities.
Back to the song NANA, take us through the process of making the song that is currently dominating airwaves and DJs playlists
I made it with Axon in the morning after a night session. I had written a little bit of it and Axon started the beat. We made half of it in August last year and finished it this year in January.
Your song has had massive crossover appeal. People listen to it in the office, in the bar, in the car, and even downtown. What would you attribute this to
God. I can’t explain how it happened. It’s only God. My team also played a big role in it. I knew the song was nice but I didn’t know it would achieve all it has.
You come across as focused and driven, what have you had to sacrifice on the journey thus far
A lot. School, freedom, some people, sleep, comfort and a bunch of other things.
In terms of self discipline, what are some of the things that you’re still working on
My financial discipline. I’m learning how to save.
100 years from now, when people are describing Joshua Baraka, how would you like to be remembered
A person who worked and God came through for him. An inspiration, and a great man.
Zooming in, where would you like to be in Five years?
With a Grammy; Houses for my parents and lots of money; A cultural icon.
In Uganda, who are your Top Five Artists
In no particular order; Radio, Maurice Kirya, Naava Grey, Abaasa and Izabel UG.
How about your Top Five producers
Axon, [Chef] Barry, Abaasa, Steve Keys and Joshua Baraka.
Top Five DJs
In particular order; DJ Ssese, Selector Jay, KasBaby, Dj Joe and Alza. I love a lot more DJs.
Top Five legends. Who are Uganda’s greatest musicians dead or alive (Top Five)
Radio, Elly Wamala, Afrigo Band, Maurice Kirya, Madoxx.
We are experiencing a wonderful surge of what people have described as “UG Urban” music. What are your feelings about this progression
I think it’s a great time to be an artist in Uganda right now because you can create whatever you want and it will work.
What words of advice would you give to a talented musician in high school, honing his/ her craft, who wants to be like you in the future
Pray to God
By Benezeri Wanjala Chibita, The Clan