Donald Otim better known as Mauimøon is currently the face of Spotify’s Fresh Finds Africa playlist. Having spent his early years in Uganda refining his talent as a producer under the name SoulChyld, Mauimøon is now shifting his focus to being a singer and songwriter. 

His debut album, “From Uganda With Love” (2023) - available to stream on all platforms - is the catalyst for this move and showcases the evolution of his sound.  

In this exclusive interview with KBC Lifestyle, he talks about his sound, his inspiration and the importance of supporting young African talent.

You must be excited to be on the cover of Spotify’s Fresh Finds Africa, what kind of opportunities do you think will be open to you now?

I am very excited to be on the cover of Fresh Finds Africa. It’s all been a surreal experience for myself. Regarding the opportunities that come, I try to take things day by day and see what comes to me. If they do come or don’t the focus never changes.

RnB is barely mentioned when we talk about the East African sound, do you think featuring on global platforms would help change this mindset?

I think the beautiful thing about East Africa is that our sound has a lot of variety. While I don’t think one person can change the mindset and it has to be a collective effort, I totally agree that when global platforms start featuring more R&B from the coast, that brings visibility to the unique sounds in East Africa and will help change peoples mindset and start noticing more R&B in East Africa. 

Who are some of RnB greats who have influenced your style of music as a musician?

Some that have shaped my sound over the years are Brandy, Michael Jackson, Aaliyah and T-pain to name a few. 

“Leaving Summer” is such a beautiful song. It sounds like contemporary RnB and yet African. A love song with heart and no frills, which begs the question what makes a song great for you? 

I have always enjoyed the vibe of a song before I even dive into the lyrics. It feels like it has its own language it tries to communicate to you before you hear the first words of the artist. For example “Leaving Summer” when the instrumental comes on, it already paints the picture of fun, summer, a good time etc and that is then added on to with the lyrics that follow.  

Describe your process when it comes to writing?

When I write music I always have the beat ready first. Once the beat is done I begin mumbling over the beat to find a melody I feel will feel catchy and stay in the listener's head even after the song is over. I try out multiple variations until I am certain of a specific melody and begin replacing the mumbling with words. 

What’s keeping you sane this year?

A lot of quality time with myself and close friends. Changing old habits and trying to improve myself has helped me find better balance in my life. 

Who’s on your playlist and why?

The artists I’ve had on my playlists are, maufromnowhere, Tamera, Kali Uchis, Masego, Iman Omari, Joshua Baraka, The Caveman, Don Toliver etc. they are all artists making incredible music rn and is helping me get through my days. 

Are there any causes that are close to your heart that you want to engage in or want to help with in the future?

At the moment not yet, however I would like to support talented young Africans to make great music and showcase their talent to the world. This is something I’ve been thinking about to help and give opportunities to young talents across Africa.

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