Afro-fusion is the wave of the future because today’s music isn’t sticking to defined labels. One person who exemplifies such a concept is artist Sarah Tshila whose unique sound can be described as a blend of hip-hop, jazz, traditional African music and spoken word poetry. Her style is reminiscent of her inspiration, Lauryn Hill, who is also known for a combination rapping and singing. Tshila qualifies as an Afropolitan being a college student who spent a lot of time in the United States. This status made her more popular in other countries before she became popular in her home country. Tshila chose to pursue music instead of a career stemming from her degree in Computer Science. She’s released two 12-track albums, Sipping From the Nile in 2007 and World in Crisis in 2018.
Tshila embraces her heritage by being able to sing and rap in English, Kishawhili and Lugisu. One way she also gives back is by participating in the Breakdance Project which hosts various hip hop workshops throughout Uganda. As a part of the group Bataka Squad, she helped create another opportunity for creative expression through the Bavubuka Foundation. She was recognized at the Zanzibar International Film Festival as an artist who helps share Ugandan music across the globe. In 2007, she was chosen out of more than 2000 entries to be named one of 20 best unsigned artists by the BBC World Service.
Tshila categorized her last album as beginning with identification of the problem and ending with hopeful solutions. She believes, “Music can be used not just to have a good time, but it can be used to make a change. It can be used to touch people’s hearts, and it can be used to educate and let them know what your situation is like.” Tshila argues that the incorporation of rap into her style allows her to fully express her opinion on various social issues. Her visuals for the song, “Revolution Now” include a complication of images depicting pollution, protests and political figures. Tshila made a very political point by shooting the video in various locations in Washington D.C. She specifically comments on environmental awareness, discrimination and violence against women.
Keep up with this inspiring femcee by following her at Ugqueen on Youtube, @Tshila on Facebook and @TshilaMusic on Twitter.