BATABAZI started making music in 2007. They are based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The name was chosen because the members wanted something to symbolize who they are as individuals. The word “Batabazi” is derived from a Luganda phrase “okutabaala” which means to wander or move from place to place. Batabazi’s roots are hip hop but are very versatile given the dynamics of the group and have recently done musicin R&B, Reggae and Afrobeats.
Batabazi is comprised of five individuals i.e. four stage performers and a producer. They are PG (Mpagi Kironde), Jerome Black (Jerome Jjooga), Tasha (Roseann Kawesa), Gera (Gera Kiwanuka) and Mayor (Anthony Bbosa Balagadde). PG raps in English, Luganda and occasionally does Patwah & Swahili, Jerome is a lugaflow specialist. Tasha and Gera sing and rap in English & Luganda. Mayor is the group’s producer with a rich musical background in piano and traditional instruments, and in the past has had theopportunity to perform at the famous Carnegie Hall in New York.
The group certainly lives up to their name, “Batabazi” as they have wandered around in life and the world to get to where they currentlyare as a group. PG was born and raised in Uganda. Growing up he was nick-named Bow Wow as he was always rapping. In 2003, he moved to the UK and later to the USA. Jerome was born in Mombasa, Kenya and raised in Uganda. While in high school he started rapping in Luganda. He was also a good basketball player; it was through his basketball skills that he found his way to the USA in 2001. Tasha was born and raised in Uganda. As a child she always loved to sing. In 2003 after high school, she moved to the USA. Gera was born in the USA and was raised in Uganda. She started taking voice and piano lessons at a very young age. Because of her parents’ careers she was always on the move. In 2006, she moved back to the USA to pursue further studies. Mayor was born and raised in Uganda. While in high school in Uganda, he was a very active member of the Music Club. He is a trained musician and a talented pianist who plays by ear and once a member of his college choir. He moved to the USA in 2006. All five members have several things in common but more importantly their love for music is evident in everything that they do.
In 2009, Batabazi released a 20-track mix tape. The mix tape included their hit tracks “Turn it Up”, “Uganda Nka” and “Binsobedde”. 2010 proved to be a breakthrough year for the group as it saw them do several collaborations with well established Uganda musicians including Chagga, Peter Miles, Jackie Chandiru of the Blu3 fame, Ragga Dee, Vamposs, Navio and Raba Daba. They now have a total of 7 music videos. In December 2010 they released an 8-track EP titled “Set It Off” in preparation for their upcoming Mixtape release (2011) and Album release (2012).