Since so many months back, we have been intending to interview our own Rapper Ruyonga and just chat about his music and so many things. We did not get a hold of him then but now, which we believe is the right time, we bring you an interview that we held with Tutuuse rapper ahead of Glory Fire concert and album launch. Ruyonga, formerly Known as Krukid, is no stranger to Uganda’s rap and music industry. He has been described as Uganda’s Rap Maestro and genius, we agree. Ours was an interview that did not need planning for. It just happened and this is what we asked him after securing our seats and drink and exchanging pleasantries.
What is the Glory Fire Army About?
For me, I just feel like I am part of The Army. The word that has gone out is that God is building an army…
(uhuh) I don’t think that Ruyonga doing this album around this time is coincidental or that Ruyonga is trying to do his thing. I think that this is all positioned. You know, right or wrong, I think Holy Keane’s thing, my thing, Levixone’s thing is positioned. When was the last time when young Christian artistes have attempted to take down Kati Kati, Uganda Museum and Makerere University Sports Ground (Main field) in a one and a half month’s span? (As I digest that question, I take a deep breath and sigh. Ruyonga who is consumed with passion as he shares continues). That’s a different move, you get? (I node and obviously, I was already feeling the weight of his words). God is building an army and I think part of my thing (mission) is just to rally people to the cause. ‘coz I am one of those people who gets into spaces that other Christians don’t normally get into and I am very brazen about my Christianity. Even though Christians sometimes feel like I don’t……. (insert facial expression) you know! But the thing is, that’s where God put me. You know, I am not there because I just can go there. I am there because that’s the influence that God has allowed me to have and has made some of these other young Christians bold enough to go and put songs like God Unmatchable on Hot 100. (At this point he is tapping (read banging) the table that has our drinks. We continue chatting) The Gospel needs to go out to the lost not the found. I am not saying it is not a tricky situation. I am not saying there’s not things that have to be measured but I am saying that’s where we are supposed to go. And the fire army is that I am part of the army. That’s it. It is not like my army. I am in the army.
So, what’s it? Is it the fire army or the Glory Fire Army?
Well, it is The Glorifier’s Army.
(I node because I have understood that it is God’s army). Alright, I have been having a question about Glory Fire. How did you get the Album title? How did you put “Glory” to “Fire?”
Divine inspiration. (Could you expound on this?) I prayed. I was asking God, “What next? What’s the next level?” and I just got Glory Fire. It first started out simply. (Banging on the table again, he says,) No matter who we are. No matter what kind of fame we get. It all comes from God. All good things come from God. Glory is Fame. Those things come from God. And so God is the Glorifier. “To God be The Glory” is this cycle (he demonstrates with his hands) of life where God gives the Glory and To God Be The Glory. (I node again and that seems to be all I am doing). God gives the Glory so that it is given back to him. God glorifies that he may be glorified. (My mind wonders off thinking about how The Passion Movement of Chris Tomlin and team emphasise making God’s Fame Known to the whole earth. In Ugandan English, I am in class).
That’s where the Glorifier thing came from. Then the ‘Fire’ thing is this. For the Glory to be really maintained, it has to go through fire because in the Kingdom of God everything is purified by fire. (Once again, I am in agreement like a preacher just made a point. In fact, the preacher just did.) He (God) is a consuming fire. Our works shall be tested and tried by fire to see what sort it is. When we come through, we shall come forth as gold. Gold is tested by fire. All the great things in the world that have been made that stand are made by fire. Even the first time they talk about brickwork in the Bible. The tower of Babel, there’s a verse that says, let us go and bake bricks. They didn’t make it out of mud. They made it out of something that is burnt by fire.
That’s where the fire thing comes from and also, there is fire coming. One day I was walking through Naguru and I saw it on fire. There was a time I was praying and I saw the may of Uganda on fire. There is fire coming. Whether it is the fire for God in terms of people being on fire for Him or the fire of persecution, there is fire coming.
Uhmm. So, is there a song on the album with the title Glory Fire?
There’s “Glory and Fire.” The thing about the album is this…. (clears his throat)… The album has a very commercial appeal. It is not deep. It is accessible. Because, God does not just want to tell Christians who are deep in prayer that the fire is coming….. (Ruyonga takes a long break and the says)… We are going to go off on a tangent here. When He anointed Isaiah and Jeremiah, they did not speak to walls. He sent them out to the congregation… to Israel to tell everyone in general, you know! And the thing is like, for me, the music that I have is accessible. It is not always going to be accessible but I am in a place where I put out messages that some may take for granted but the fact is that those messages are going through the airwaves in the atmosphere.
When I say, “I just listen to it for the beat,” the truth is Christians are forced to listen to the message but many of them find themselves trapped because what sways them is the beat. So for me God has given me the opportunity to match the simplicity of the Gospel and the simplicity of certain messages and the ability to put them into music that is ACCESSIBLE. someone may want me to make the really deep, hardcore music and I probably will, but that’s not the time God has put me in. God is trying to tell people fire is coming and for me the music isn’t where the message is. The message it there. But the music simply turns the ear so that when someone talks to me and asks me about Glory Fire, I tell them that the fire is coming.
Now. The Glory Fire concert. Two days within three days. How did the concert concept just drop?
Divine. I didn’t want to do it. I keep telling people I didn’t want to do it because it’s the truth. I can’t take credit for that thing when it’s massive. I was like, “God, I don’t know how we did Victory Music. So, now let’s scale down.” I kept quiet. I asked, “So, Lord, what are we doing?” He replies, “Bigger.” Every time I asked him it was “Bigger.” Just M.U.K. I wanted to do Kati Kati. Then my wife drops this into my spirit and God is like “Yes, that’s what it is.” In a meeting when I wasn’t sure what to do, I kinda went into myself and asked God, what should we do. He said, M.U.K August 8th.
Could you tell us about the two different shows.
The corporate one is because I have two sets of fans. I have the fans who appreciate the music because they are mature enough to understand the things I am saying regardless of the beat. They love what I am actually saying. And then, I have fans who love the way I am saying it. Those are usually the younger audience. They love the way I am saying it. They love the beats that I put to the flow. They say “kyakabi mani!” Then there are those who love the message, depth and relevance. Those are two separate groups of people. The older set of people are not always jumping around like the younger set. They will appreciate my music and not come for a Ruyonga concert. You get? And yet some of them will still jump up and do all that but they want to do it in a comfortable setting. So, that’s where Imperial Royale came from.
With that we wish to invite all of you to the concerts. Follow us @UgGospelLife on Twitter for updates and Ugandan Gospel Life on Facebook.