Masaka Masaka

Masaka Masaka

The debut album “Barely Making Much” was released on March 22, 2024 on Hakuna Kulala: Growing up in Uganda, multi-disciplinary artist Ian Nnyanzi (aka Masaka Masaka) always knew he wanted to make music, he just needed enough time and breathing room to figure out what exactly his contribution had to be. He cut his teeth fashioning rudimentary hip-hop beats at a friend's studio on Makindye, a hill that overlooks Kampala's balmy Murchison Bay, and quickly realized that he wanted more. "Out here, everyone seems okay to listen to the same thing," he explains, and Nnyanzi wasn't interested in following the crowd. During regular commutes across the city, his mind was being cracked open by sounds from Dean Blunt, Slauson Malone, Arca, Jpegmafia and Vegyn; he knew he needed to show Kampala something similarly distinct.

'Barely Making Much' is a sprawling, ambitious album that's as sculptural as it is explorative, reaching through genre membranes and refusing to stay still for a second. Masaka Masaka wrote it over a fragmented two year period at Nyege Nyege's Kampala studio, and tapped into a jumble of interconnected sounds, from jungle and experimental hip-hop to techno and smoked-out, dubwise ambient music. 

'Barely Making Much' is a charming, hyperactive debut that wears its influences on its sleeve, playing like a lysergic, literate mixtape packed with layers and subtle gestures. Cool-headed and mysterious, it exposes the twilit side of the Kampala underground.

Picture Masaka Masaka © Ian Nnyanzi
Friday 24

Buy tickets here!