Catching up with Giovanni Kiyingi ahead of Blankets and Wine Kampala.

Celebrated folk singer-songwriter and Afro-fusion multi-instrumentalist, Giovanni Kiyingi, will be returning for the 15th Edition of Blankets and Wine that will take place at Lugogo Cricket Oval this Sunday the 18th December.

Considered to be the biggest quarterly event on Uganda’s social calendar, the Tusker Malt Lager sponsored event and organised by House of Deejays, will be playing host to some of Uganda’s top socialites as well as consumers of Tusker Malt as they’re entertained by a variety of artists headlined by Africa’s number one artist, Tanzania’s Alikiba.


In an effort to deliver on their promise of 100% awesome musical experiences, and due to public demand, Tusker Malt Lager and House of Deejays will be bringing back Giovanni Kiyingi for the 15th edition of Blankets and Wine Kampala.

Giovanni who performed at the previous edition was a crowd favorite and will be returning to showcase his talent come this Sunday.  We caught up with the ‘Amakondeere’ star who hopes to be the face of East Africa’s world music genre in five years and asked him a few questions ahead of this week’s event.

Qn: What inspired Giovanni to start singing and playing all the various instruments?

As I was growing up, the church choir inspired me. My music journey started in Kiboga deep in the village called Vumba parish. I used go to church early in the morning and get a front row chair to enjoy the church choir which played music with traditional instruments.

Qn: What would you describe your music as?

My music is a fusion of my Ugandan roots and the influence of the worlds’ music.

Qn: What inspired your ‘Amakondeere’ album?

My Amakondeere album was inspired by the sound I wanted to put out and also many other various rhythm patterns.

Qn: What are some of your most memorable stage performances?

The one that stands out is when I performed for the Pope in 2015 at Kololo Airstrip Grounds with a full band on the song themed “New Day”. Then this year, I shared a stage with Michael kiwanuka at a festival in Belgium.

Qn: Are there any particular Ugandan artists you would wish to work with?

Yes there are quite a number of them. Cindy, Irene Ntale, Maurice Kirya, Sammy Kasule, Julian Kanyomozi, Irene Namubiru.

Qn: What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you while performing on stage?

This one time, I did sound checking on stage and I was ready to play. On coming back to the stage, my guitar could not sound. I had left my battery running.

Qn: Are there any projects in the works that we should look out for?

Yes. The official Amakondeere release will be happening real soon and I plan to release two new albums “Mkatiko W’afirika” and “Kitengejja”.

Qn: What advice would you give to a young upcoming artist? 

Hard working is the song everywhere I go. But for upcoming artists in Uganda and East Africa, I would say we need to look into identity in sound now. How different you sound opens new markets all over because always the world is looking for something new! And East Africa’s sound is still virgin to the world.

Qn: What memories do you hold from your debut Blankets and Wine performance?

My debut at Blankets and Wine was rather interesting and fun. I remember I performed when it was raining and the stage had some water on it. But the highlight is how my friends and revelers kept on dancing in the rain. Even though it was raining, the sound was good and we just had fun.

Qn: This will be your second performance at Blankets and Wine Kampala. What should people expect from you?

People should come and we have a good time and continue from where we stopped the other time. With me it is a groove throughout the concert. Don’t miss it. Let us end the year with a bang!!!


A quarterly, picnic style music festival, Blankets and Wine is East Africa’s premier music experience, designed to showcase outstanding musicians in the emerging genres of afro-based music.

Entrance fee is 100,000 UGX at the Lugogo Cricket Oval and gates open at 12:00pm on 18th December 2016.

Revelers can buy early bird tickets by dialing *252# on MTN mobile money or at Definition stores at acacia mall, Garden city,  Uganda Wines & Spirits, Kanyana’s Bakery in Kiwatule, PayWay outlets & House of DJs Office in Bugolobi.

In line with its support for responsible drinking, Tusker Malt Lager will be maintaining a strict ‘over 18 only’ policy for sale of alcohol.


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