Seby Ntege is a singer songwriter from the Busoga region in the eastern part of Uganda, known for its great tradition of multi-instrumentalists. In line with the tradition, Seby is a master of a variety of traditional instruments from his country including akogo thumb piano (a.k.a. kalimba), endongo lyre, adungu harp, percussion and Endingidi, a one-string fiddle.
Born into a musical family, Seby joined his family band (Nile Beat Artists) at the age of 13 and was introduced to the international stage, touring different countries in Africa as an instrumentalist and a dancer.
In the UK, Seby is considered among the most accomplished new musical exports and an ambassador of traditional Ugandan music, but his thirst for the contemporary has led to a series of collaborations with a number of celebrated artists from different musical backgrounds including Kiki Dee, Mr.Will Music and Sona Jobarteh among others.
Seby has also played at festivals both in the UK and Europe including playing live at Radio BBC Three at Womad in 2009. Seby describes his forthcoming album, FIVE NOTES, as a personal and emotional piece of work that describes my own experience of 14 years of living in the UK and my musical journey while in the UK. As well as providing lead vocals for his songs, Seby plays the akogo (kalimba) thumb piano, his childhood instrument which he beautifully fuses with the sounds of the kora. Seby upholds the Ugandan style of music which is mainly based on a pentatonic scale, hencethe album title – Five Notes.
He describes his sound as a musical marriage between Uganda, the UK and West Africa, inspired by his recent collaborative work with the widely acclaimed and celebrated Gambian female Kora virtuoso Sona Jobarteh in whose band he played and toured internationally for two years. Seby’s charismatic stage presence and vocal prowess has been credited through his collaborative work with Mr Will Music (watch it here) in which he provides the vocals for the album songs of the heart Seby’s upcoming album is co-produced by singer songwriter John Raymond (Creative empire studios), whose background in gospel and pop music bringsa fresh afro-soul feel to the music.
The Seby Ntege Band is a line-up of accomplished musicians who have been widely credited and celebrated for their own work. On guitars, Ben Avison (www.benavison.com) is an engaging performer and singer songwriter with Melbourne’s RRR Radio noting his tasty guitar work and BBC Bradford describing him as a master of many styles. He joins the band fresh from work with Rise Kagona of the Bhundu Boys. On saxophone and keyboard, Jack Durtnall (www.jackdurtnall.com) is also an accomplished singer songwriter, nominated for the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition in both 2014 and 2015 and selected for the UK’s Radio One playlist as BBC Introducing’s track of the week (March 2014) with the song Nightfall.