Pulse had a one on one with Ali Yusuf AKA Arrow Bwoy from Uganda

Arrow Bwoy
  • He has released the track ‘Digi Digi’
  • He lives in Uganda but he is  Kenyan
  • He narrates his challenges in his ambitious showbiz


Pulse: First of all, are you a Kenyan or Ugandan?

Arrow Bwoy: That has always been everyone’s question and it is good we make it clear now. The fact that I fix some Luganda lyrics in my songs makes everyone believe I am Ugandan. The truth is that I have some Ugandan roots through my mother. However I am a Kenyan who grew up in Mathare in Nairobi and not in Mombasa as my Swahili might suggest.

P: You are now in Uganda; does that mean you are visiting?

AB: I can say I am home since I have won myself a big following here from when I released Digi Digi. Ugandans love dancehall music and you will be surprised that since I released the song in September, it has made me a household name. I, however, came down to Kampala to do a project with a group called Voltage. We have been recording together and soon as I am done, I will be back home.

P: You have been in the game for a year now...

AB: Let us say two years since I released my first single in 2015. However, before then, I was in a group called QBIC crew with whom we released songs like Angelina that never registered good reviews. Back then, my stage name was Ali Kiwa. In 2015, I went solo but it wasn’t until this year that I got my breakthrough.

P: You are quite talented, judging from Digi Digi and Koona, that you released last year. What took you two years to be known?

AB: The showbiz industry is about many aspects other than talent. I actually expected Koona to be bigger than Digi Digi. First, I had released Mdogo Mdogo and Bila Bonus through my recording stable Fast Cash Music but the song hardly any rating. I think I needed better management and that is what I am getting from Kaka Empire. I also had to change my stage name to fit in the image I wanted to have.

P: How did you settle on the name Arrow Bwoy?

AB: An arrow pierces. My lyrics are made to pierce. The message in my songs is straight-forward, as you may have realised, I don’t mince my words.

P: You also come out as that ‘bad boy’ judging from the way you were working it with the video vixens in Digi Digi...

AB: We had chemistry and that made the video work. Besides, it was all acting. We actually met that day after we sourced her from an agency. Video vixens should make a difference in a video and she nailed it. So, no, I’m not the bad boy type as many dancehall artistes are. I was just bringing out the vibe.

P: Critics suggest you used Digi Digi to steal Jigi Jigi’s thunder…

AB: Not really. My producer Magix Enga had already done the song before Willy Paul released his song. Let’s just say great minds think alike.

P: What is the deal with Kaka Empire?

AB: They manage me. They are in charge of my bookings, but as Fast Cash Music, I do the production bit.

P: Did you always want to become a musician?

AB:  I always wanted to become an artiste and I think the situations and challenges around my life threatened this dream. After primary school, I moved to Uganda for my secondary education as my family could not afford education for me here. It is during this time that I decided to take music seriously.