Baguma Crescent (born 23 February 1993), popularly known as Beenie Gunter, is a Ugandan reggae dancehall artist. Beenie in Jamaica means young while Gunter means creative so in essence his stage name Beenie Gunter means ‘young creative’. From child hood, Beenie Gunter’s drive, passion and inspiration for music came from his best friend, mentor and big Brother Beenie Venture who was also a musician but sadly passed away in 2013. Beenie Gunter carried on the torch that his late brother lit within him and he is currently one of the most celebrated new generation dancehall artists in Uganda. His lyrical content revolves around timeless messages of peace, love, integrity and defying one’s circumstances to succeed in life.
Born Major John Morgan Waako and Margaret Nambi in Kyenjojo, Fort Portal, Crescent Baguma is the last born of 4 children. He was introduced to dancehall and reggae music by his late brother Beenie Venture and his interest in music was in avertedly cultivated by his parents. He used to entertain his father’s friends when they came over for drinks and his mother often brought him music on cassettes when she travelled to Kampala.
Beenie gunter grew up in a strict Christian environment that shunned music as a profession prompting his late big brother, Beenie Venture, to leave home because he wanted to pursue a career in music. Crescent on the other hand, nurtured his talent for music quietly balancing between excelling and being disciplined in school while making music. During an interview Beenie Gunter spoke on his early life:
“I grew up around music. I used to sit on a stool in front of mirror with the cassette radio playing behind the mirror. By the time I recorded my first song, I was in the booth but you could think I was shooting a music video because I was so charismatic, everyone in the studio was wondered why I was so energetic. No one trained me, my style came from within and I perfected it”
Being the child of a soldier, Beenie Gunter and his family moved around a lot and as such he attended different schools in his early child life. He doesn’t remember going to kindergarten. He attended Mbarara Army Primary School, Kaihura Primary School in Fort portal and Bombo Mixed Primary School.
Beenie Gunter spent six years of his secondary school life at St. Mary’s Kitende Senior Secondary School from 2007-2013. He recorded his first song at the age of 14 with Producer Emon of South Side Studios called hypocrites and his charisma and unique style and lyrics made an impression on Emon. Over the years Emon mentored Beenie Gunter and always dedicated free studio time for him. Beenie Gunter says Emon contributed majorly to crafting the urban appeal in his sound.
This first recording made Beenie Gunter popular in school and cemented his decision to walk a path toward becoming a musician instead of becoming a footballer which is his second passion. Given his Christian background and parents’ aversion to musicians, Beenie gunter maintained good grades in school, never got in trouble and discreetly pursued his musical career.