Silver X: My early childhood has shaped my life and music

Silver X

 

  • He is one of South Sudan’s most popular artists
  • His early childhood has shaped  his life and music
  • His desire to go back is still intact

 

Kampala-based Okuta Ceaser Maris, popularly known as Silver X, is originally from Juba South Sudan and one of the most recognisable faces in the South Sudan music industry. He also run a record label in Kampala, Holy Land Music Empire, where he has signed and mentored more than ten stars.

The 29-year-old singer cut short his ambition to finish his A-level education, a dream that he revived years later, in 2008 after senior school level where he tossed himself into the unpredictable world of show business despite the challenges that face many local artistes in Juba. He later relocated to Kampala to cut a niche of himself as well as make a living out of his talent.

“I was a good poet in school and a bright student in general though I chose to follow my passion, which did not augur well with most of the people who knew me. They believed I was wasting my future since I was a star in academics. I actually did my primary level education in only four years instead of the usual seven back at home, covering two classes in a year,” he recalls.

All the while in school his love for music was unmatched. Ironically, he says that if he could turn back time, he would go back to school and probably become a doctor or an engineer so as to help his people. But he has regrets for the decision he took.

Silver X had been in Uganda as a refugee and later moved to Kampala for greener pastures as the political atmosphere in his home country deteriorated.

“There are very few TV and radio stations to even play a songs to a good audience, let alone the fact that in the war-torn areas with poverty-stricken citizens, they do not even have the luxury of listening to music,” he says.

His journey to the top has had its fair share of challenges, growing up as a refugee in Adjuman District.

“I didn’t have the luxuries that a many of my age mates had. Paying my school fees was a major challenge and as I had to look for sponsors every now and then,” says the singer, who reveals that he is inspired by Black Eyed Peas because their songs touch on the situation in his motherland.

Under his sleeve he has numerous albums including Fetisu Sokol, Wele, Maswa, Carolina, Ana Bi Wori, Bamba Ta Deng’ and Saaga.

He was acknowledged by the U.S based Foreign policy magazine as a global thinker for the year 2014 for composing a peace and sensitisation song, Let’s Stand Together, which calls on South Sudanese leaders to stop conflicts and rebuild their country. He was also noted to have launched a campaign, Music against Hunger. The nod saw him ranked among global top names including Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as decision-makers of the year. Silver X was the first Sudanese to be ranked in this select group.

His most known songs locally is Tufaa remix, which he did with Wyre, Kenrazy and Visita, and East African Lover, which features Renee.

“There is a lot of talent in Kenya and I would like to work with Sauti Sol, whose songs are a major hit back home, as well as with Redsan who I believe has a lot of talent and doing great with it. (The) Kenyan music scene is doing pretty well in this region and with their unique sound I believe we can work magic if we come together and helped each,” he says.

Having grown up banking almost purely on hope, the artiste has developed a strong belief in the divine. “God has a way of making things work around only if you believe in him and know you are not alone. As for our leaders, you all should reconcile and put your egos aside and work together, there is no good in having poverty stricken citizens for only a few persons to benefit. Life is hard out here and our people are suffering; let us all reconcile and live in peace,” he concludes.


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