Dre Cali is fresh on the music scene and has a brand new tune with Lydia Jasmine. Joseph Maani sat down with Dre Cali immediately after releasing his new song Onanagiza. The budding vocalist who is surprisingly shy shared with his journey, aspirations and how working under a label has been so far. Here is the full interview.
Who is Dre Cali?
Katende Andrew Stephen a.k.a Dre Cali is the firstborn of 3 boys, born and bred in Entebbe. I went to White Angels P/S for my primary school, then St Henry’s College Kitovu (Shack) and Mengo SS for my O and A Level respectively. I then joined Uganda Christian University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Growing up I always thought I’d be a footballer since I was very good at it and always on the school teams of every school I went to.
When did you realise that music is what you want to do and what was your first time in studio like?
Back in 2010 when was in Form 3 that’s when I first picked up a mic. It all begun way back when I was living in kitende at my grand mother’s place and next to it was a music studio called Sous studio. So I decided to visit it and as they say, the rest is history. However, my first time in the studio was horrible, I was very shy and couldn’t interact with the people I found there. Also listening to my recorded voice sounded so weird at first, I almost gave up.
Are you signed to Mpaka Records? If so, how has it been helpful to your musical journey?
Yes, I am signed to Mpaka Records. It has been a smooth sail so far, being signed to a record deal comes with it’s advantages some of which I’m enjoying now for example studio time, video and audio promotion, some personal effects like rent, wardrobe, and welfare all covered by the label.
About Ykee Benda, you two are pretty close, can you tell us something he knows about you that you have never told anyone?
I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone this about me but I’m pretty shy and I fear girls. Ykee knows that.
Is it true that some media houses ask up and coming artists for “envelopes” in order to play their music? Have you experienced it?
I have not experienced it because at Mpaka I don’t get to take my music to media houses personally s I don’t know because there is somebody responsible for that distribution.
Ugandan Superstars are generally known to be promiscuous, how do you handle the temptations of stardom?
I try so much not to forget where I came from, and what I want in the future and most importantly who got me there. And also, I keep praying to God for humility.
Do you perform live music? If so, where can people find you?
I do perform live music. People can find me at Fezzah Events at Design Hub. I am also doing akadope this year. My record label has a live band show in the pipeline for me, we shall communicate the date and details.
What are your aspirations in the music industry? Where do you see your self in 5 years?
The dream is to go viral worldwide and push the music to the world and make lots of money of course because music is a career for me and I take it seriously. In 5 years I see myself on top of my game locally and internationally.
Do you have upcoming projects we should look out for in 2020?
Yaaaa starting with the one I released recently called Onanagiza ft Lydia Jazmine and many more collaborations.
Dre Cali can be found on the different social media platforms, check out @drecalimusic.