Up-close. Isaac Emma Buyi is a blues pianist, guitarist, songwriter and music producer who is passionate about teaching music instruments to children. Buyi talks to Olivier Mukaaya about his journey.
Tell us about yourself.
I am Isaac Emma Buyi from Bungokho in Mbale. A neo-soul, jazz, gospel, funk and blues pianist/ keyboardist, guitarist, songwriter and music producer in the making. Above all, I am passionate about teaching young children how to play different instruments.
Tell us about your journey in this music career?
My music journey began from childhood when dad used to bring a keyboard and guitar home for practice and pretty much inspired me. Also, the music videos we watched got me inspired and I aspired to play piano as the pianists I watched. I remember snapping all the guitar strings while trying to play it while my father was away.
I later on found my passion when I was taught one key at my local church. I learnt the other 11 keys using online resources.
Later, I joined Trumpets Of Gideon, a band where I was a keyboardist, then I worked with other bands too around my home town and got established as a keyboardist.
After that, I got to learn a number of music genres and other instruments such as the guitar and drums. Currently, I am enhancing my music production skills.
What does it take for someone to learn how to play instruments?
One must make time for practice, have a goal and also the passion to learn whatever instrument they wish to play.
Any achievements so far?
I have played at festivals such as Bayimba, Reggae on the Nile, and Soul Therapy by award winning artiste Isaiah Destiny, Players Interactive which was a music workshop in Kenya.
Also, I have played at Watoto Church and gone for music trips in and outside Uganda where, I got to meet some resourceful friends and creatives who have aroused my quest for knowledge.
I have gained exposure and bought advanced equipment.
First thing you do in the morning?
I pray then have a four- hour keyboard practice as I do my finger exercises.
What do these exercises entail?
The scales such as the blues scale, whole tone scale, riffs and licks, chord progressions in the 12 keys.
Sometimes I try out complicated songs just to find application of concepts for example, circle of fourths and fifths, diminished and augmented chords, and tritons.
First thing you do when you meet a new person?
I smile and greet them.
What was your first job?
I worked as a music trainer at Buyobo CDC, where I was teaching young people how to play piano and music.
What was it like for you?
This was an awesome experience for me to pass on knowledge to the adorable young people and be part of their music foundation.
Henceforth, I started doing mobile keyboard and guitar classes where I scheduled meet-ups with my students to teach them. They would pay on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
What challenges have you faced?
Some children are so slow and not motivated.
What was your first salary?
I prefer not to disclose it.
What did you use the salary for?
I did some shopping for myself and my family, deposited some on my bank account and gave some of it to my parents.
Who was your first best friend?
The bass maestro himself; Paul Junior Flugal whom I met in some church band. I liked his groovy touch and slap bass.
We became friends, played instruments at a number of events and he has been a resourceful friend to date.
First book you read and what lesson did you learn from it?
Understanding your potential by Doctor Myles Munroe, in this book I learnt that the first step towards success is to listen to my inner voice.
I also learnt to identify my goals, set milestones, celebrate my successes and also learn to accept failures which have helped me to be where I am today.