By Shakira Nansubuga & Peace Nakigudde
Luuka born RnB singer Raston Mulebi aka Menton Rass the Eastern King has thrilled fans with jaw dropping music for the last 15 years.
The talented singer in an exclusive interview with Busoga Today said he lost his parents at a tender age and was brought up by his grandmother he only identified as Dimintilia.
“My parents died when I was seven years of age and I grew up with my grandmother in a deplorable situation. We always lacked necessities and raising fees was a really big problem,” Menton Rass said
He said he realized the music talent in him and decided to harness it to devine his future.
“While at school, I participated in Music and Drama competitions and that is when I discovered a raging fire within me which I harnessed to become a blazing flame. For me, music was my outlet to staying off the streets and remaining focused towards my goals,” Menton Rass said.
Dressed in a custom-made denim jacket, Mulebi says he chose the name Menton from a Muganda musician he adored who went by the name Menton Summer. Menton Summer died in 1997 in a car accident at Nakalama, Iganga.
“I decided to call my self Menton because of my adoration for Menton Summer and the other name, Rass, is from my given name Raston,” he says.
The 37-year old says music has offered him an escape from poverty and deprivation after he became orphaned at a tender age.
“Music has been able to offer me what I missed out as a child. I did not go to the park or to the movies or get ice cream as a child,” Menton Rass says.
The recording and performing artiste says he officially started his music career in 2007 with his break through song titled ‘Muyige okunaaba’ in which he advises people, especially ladies, to practice high levels of hygiene as a way of winning men’s hearts.
Menton Rass says he now has about 40 songs to his name, including collaborations with other artistes, and is currently in the studio recording another song titled ‘Mukine gemwidhi’.
He also says he fancies ‘collabos’ with other big artistes in the country such as Chameleon, Juliana and Spice Diana, among others as well as international artistes like Diamond and Harmonize.
Menton Rass, however, says the music industry is not a bed of roses and advises upcoming artistes to tighten their belts to be able to navigate the murky waters of the industry.
“As Bobi Wine said, there is more politics in the music industry than in Parliament. There is so much one endures to get to the top, including witchcraft,” Menton Rass said.
“There is a time I spent a lot of money treating persistent headache only to discover later that witchcraft was involved,” he added.
He also decried the little money Busoga artistes are paid for gigs and the difficulty in securing radio and television interviews in his song ‘Busoga Tetwenda’ literally meaning Busoga does not love us.
“The Basoga have done little to support Busoga artistes and instead they glorify artistes from Kampala,” Menton Rass said.
A true African man, Menton prides in polygamy and says he has two wives and still has room for more.
Love for politics
Like a number of Ugandan artistes who have thrown their huts in the political ring, Menton Rass is a self-professed member of the National Unity Platform (NUP) and has even composed songs such as ‘Uganda Ekaaye’ literally meaning Uganda has worsened in which he highlights the ills in the country and ‘Tulonde Anasobola’ in which he appeals to voters to vote for able leaders and to avoid exchanging their votes for money.
“Music is a universal language for mankind and can be used to transform society. I, therefore, use music to sing about so many subjects, including politics,” he says.