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Will the Blu*3 reunion be worth the years of effort?

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The Blu*3 ladies say it was not easy getting them back together. PHOTO/TALENT AFRICA GROUP

For years, it was no secret that the Blu*3 trio were not seeing eye to eye since the group split up, for reasons only best known to them. It is believed that their disagreements date back to 17 years ago when Cindy left the group. And today, the three are not shy to reveal that they did not like each other and their egos and successful solo careers also played a big part in that. 

In a recent podcast interview on The sit down with Juliana, the girls admitted that they were not willing to sit down and squash the beef due to the grudges they had for each other and if it was not for Jackie Chandiru, maybe the whole re-union would not have been possible.

“It was bad that it emotionally and mentally drained me. I am the hardest person but I had to be the softest and was willing to put the past behind me, so why couldn’t Lilian and Cindy do the same?” Chandiru said during the interview before Cindy chipped in, saying the sight of Jackie softening to the idea disarmed her.

“Seeing Jackie after everything she had gone through and now being passionate softened us. She broke my wall,” Cindy said. 

In the same interview, Jackie Chandiru revealed that there was a fourth party in their getting back together and that was fashion designer Martin Larry Mukooza, aka Larry Casual.

“Larry Casual pushed us to get back together. He told us that we do not know the power we had and wondered how bad the disagreement was that we could not forgive and forget. He initiated the meetings for our getting back together,” Chandiru stated.

Martin Larry

Martin Larry

The Larry fashions proprietor has always been a very big fan of Blu*3 because of the unique approach to their music and how they brought a breath of fresh air to the music scene but only got to know them personally after they had split up.

“I knew Jackie first because she used to be friends with a relative and she visited a couple of times. When I entered the fashion industry, she was one of my clients. I was closer to her because even throughout her whole journey of addiction, I was her person. I met Lilian during her nights at Big Mikes with her Sundowners band while I Cindy and I met on a job. We were shooting an advert and she was a cast member,” Mukooza speaks of the trio.

He says the idea for a reunion popped up in his head seven years ago but he could not pull it off as Jackie was not okay.

“We first talked about this with Aly Allibhai in 2017. We thought we would have a Blu*3 reunion but unfortunately Jackie had a relapse and went back to rehab. Much later, Jackie bounced back and we revisited the conversation and this time round with all the three ladies. We started planning and looking at their journey but it was not easy because of the differences they had,” he said.

After insisting, he finally managed to get all of them together for a drink and dinner in Najjera where they discussed how it would work. Unfortunately, it took them another half a year to come around. 

When they finally agreed, he spoke to Maestro Band’s Francis Baguma whether he could join the project. That is how the first activation came about last year at Skyz Hotel Naguru.

Asked why he badly wanted the trio to get back together, Martin Larry said he felt it necessary because he wanted Blu*3 to get a better send-off as they left a gap in the industry that needed to be filled.

“I think they are what the entertainment industry is missing. Real raw organic talent.”

Aly Allibhai

Aly Allibhai comes in

Having taken over the group after they left Fenon Entertainment, Talent Africa Group CEO & Executive Producer Ali Allibhai was definitely the man for the job as Cindy stated in the interview with Juliana.

“Aly Allibhai embraced us when we wanted to work. A lot of people did not believe in us, but Aly did not put any condition on the table. He did not judge us, did not ask so many questions and was up for it,” she said.

Asked where he got the courage to organise this concert, the talent management guru said he is always looking for new business opportunities as a creative entrepreneur and besides that they had been in talks about the reunion concert for a while.

He echoes Martin Larry’s earlier statements but finally the timing was right and they reached an agreement to make the show happen.

Not to dispel, the girls’ input, Aly said the re-union was a collective effort.

“It was the girls who came together and agreed to make it happen.  When they approached me to see if Talent Africa could pull it off, I was willing and ready to take on the project,” he said.

Setting their differences aside

The trio agreed that they did not see this coming despite attempts from people such as Martin Larry and especially their fans.

“If you ask me, I did not ever think we would ever reunite, talk or get back together,” Chandiru told Juliana, while Cindy chipped in saying, there was a time when you could not put the three of them in the same room. That was how bad it was and their attempts to make it work failed because of the way they were approaching it.

“We tried twice but we could not make it work and that is because we approached it as teams and as brands,” Cindy said.

She explained that Lilian would come with her team and she would also come with her team but after realising that they needed to approach things as individuals that were part of Blu*3, everything worked out.

“The teams are looking out for their individual artistes and that is what failed us. This year, we decided to just sit as Lilian, myself and Jackie and the decision was so fast because the truth is that the three of us are just one group. We love it, we did not get paid to be in it. We love it and we recreated it so we wanted it to happen. It is our legacy,” Cindy said.

After they sat, reminisced the good old times, cried together, laughed and revisited that pain, they learnt how to deal with their differences and one thing they decided to agree on is that if two people agree on one thing, they proceed with what worked well for them.

While being hosted on Radio City recently, Cindy mentioned that Lilian and Jackie are much more talented than before.

“About working together again, the girls are much more talented than they were the last 15 years. During our first rehearsals, listening to Lilian and Jackie, I was like wow. The energy has grown, their voices are so much better now,” she said.

To emphasise the new bond, Allibhai also confirmed that the girls get along well and they have positive energy when they are together. They are reliving old memories and creating exciting new ones.

Re-signing the girls

After Blu*3 left Fenon, Talent Africa, then Talent 256 took them on under the stewardship of Aly Allibhai. He managed them for a year before he took on Lilian Mbabazi as a solo artiste.

“After Cindy left, Aly managed Blu*3 for one year and then managed me as a solo artiste for another year after the group had disbanded, so for me he is a friend,” Lilian said.

There is so much more to this deal between Talent Africa Group and Blu*3 as it is not just going to stop at the reunion concert. Allibhai re-signed the girls for a year, during which they will be making new music, creating new content, a nationwide and international tour and a few other surprises.

Already, Lilian, Jackie and Cindy have a new song titled Guma, with more in the pipeline.

Asked how different the work relationship will be from when they were first signed to Talent Africa, Allibhai said the group will co-exist with successful solo careers.

“Jackie, Cindy and Lilian have all matured musically and are certified stars. We look forward to an exciting year and we will see where it takes us,” he noted.

In regards to Lilian and Cindy bands, Allibhai pointed out that the solo careers and Blu*3 as a group will run concurrently and during the concert, some of the band members from their solo bands will be part of the show, despite the girls coming to a consensus to work with D’ Maeastro Band, with whom they had a good experience working with at the mini concert last December at Skyz Hotel.

Concert expectations

Having done this for more than a decade now, Allibhai has assured Ugandans to get ready for a top notch production and an awesome guest experience. Expect an unforgettable night of nostalgia, harmony, and excitement as the iconic trio Blu 3 reunite on stage at Sheraton Gardens tomorrow.

Cindy on the other hand said they will bring their best years of experience on that stage.

“Picture a Blu*3 with all the growth. You have never seen somebody on stage who has overcome drugs. You have never seen someone who has overcome grief.  Come and see all those stories,” she said.

Cindy says...

Picture a Blu*3 with all the growth. You have never seen somebody on stage who has overcome drugs. You have never seen someone who has overcome grief.  Come and see all those stories manifest on stage.