Undercover Brothers: A persistent duo

Saturday October 25 2014

Jaylor Mulungi (R) and Timothy Kirya of the singing duo Undercover Brothers.

Jaylor Mulungi (R) and Timothy Kirya of the singing duo Undercover Brothers. Courtesy photos 

By EDGAR R. BATTE

You may recognise Jaylor Mulungi and Timothy Kirya from the Coca-Cola rated next competition. If not, you could have seen them during the Tusker Project Fame (TPF) season six academy in 2013. But before the fame crossed their paths, and they became Undercover Brothers, they were ordinary boys.

The two met in February 2013 at a singing competition called Coca-Cola rated next season one. They both reached the finals but unfortunately they did not win the competition. Kirya was representing Jinja and Mulungi, Fort Portal.
“After we both got evicted, a group of other guys who had also been evicted invited us to join them form a boy band group called Ancient and that’s where we officially met,” the duo explains.

Becoming Undercover Brothers
Ancient did not last long. With another friend J-Ssali they were invited to join another band called Sekalio Vocal Acapela Band. The trio did not like the idea of doing acapela music and as a result they decided to form a smaller group under the big band Sekalio.

Mulungi explains that because they were under Sekalio, they did not want the rest of the members to find out about their secret group which they had called ‘Undercover’.
“We felt like the name undercover sounded incomplete and so we decided to add brothers because we were both boys and that’s how we called our group, Undercover Brothers,” the duo says.

These musical brothers have only been in the industry for about a year. The decision to audition for Coca-Cola rated next season one kick started their dream last year when they were in their Senior Six vacation.
Nothing special inspired them to do music. It has been part of their lives since childhood. They say, “We both had participated in music activities in school choirs, church choirs as we grew up. Talent, therefore, saw us come this far.”

They wanted to do music genres like RnB and World music but mostly fuse these genres with traditional sounds in their local languages like Luganda and Lusoga in order to do the trending music as they represent motherland Uganda.
“We have participated in competitions like Coca Cola rated next season one, Last band standing season one, Tusker Project Fame season six and Pearl Rhythm stage coach,” they say about some of the competitions that have earned them fame.

These competitions were no smooth sail, they say. “All the competitions we participated in were challenging and competitive. There was a lot of criticism and trials. Competitions are tough and stressing but they have helped us become better artistes a lot.”

Like they point out, the competitions were a path in the right direction.
For instance, Kirya and Mulungi were shy on stage but the competitions helped them achieve stage confidence, mic techniques, voice control, stage performance and generally grow as artistes.
“Competitions helped us get a lot of contacts. We have also enjoyed VIP treatment. Generally, we do not regret taking part in any competitions. It was a win-win for us,” the duo observes.

Undercover Brothers had not composed any song before auditioning for Coca Cola Rated Next, but by the time they auditioned for Tusker Project Fame they had written two songs titled Omwagala Kilalu and Nabirye.
These are the songs they auditioned with and qualified to represent Uganda in the Tusker Project Fame academy last year.

The singing duo who says their music is inspired by the day to day life experiences both personal and other people’s, plan to release their debut album on December 13. It will feature songs like Kilalu, Diamond, Nsikatila, Munyenye, among others.

Like any other singing duo, they have their challenges. “Though we argue and disagree on different things, we have learnt how to live and work with each other regardless of the few differences and focus on our main goal in life,” they explain.

Undercover brothers will be at the Pearl Rhythm Festival at Uganda National Cultural Centre today.

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