Jose Chameleone, born Joseph Mayanja on 30 April 1979 in Uganda, is an AfroBeat artiste and a versatile musician from Uganda. He is one of the most popular Ugandan musicians of the 21st century and enjoys strong popularity in many countries. Chameleone sings in Luganda, English, and Swahili and has won numerous awards.
He is also known for his flamboyant lifestyle and also as a philanthropic and respected person in his native Uganda.
Chameleone’s career began in 1996 as a DJ at the Missouri night club in Kampala. He was later signed to the Kenyan record label Ogopa DJs, where he enjoyed his break through with one of his first singles, “Bageya”, which featured Kenyan artist Redsan.
Chameleone’s musical style is a combination of Ugandan folk music, central African rumba, zouk, and reggae. His first album, Bageya, was released in 2000. By 2013, he had released twelve more albums, including Mama Mia in 2001, Njo Karibu and The Golden Voice in 2003, Mambo Bado in 2004, Kipepeo in 2005, Shida za Duniain 2006, Sivyo Ndivyo and Katupakase in 2007, Bayuda in 2009, Vumilia in 2010, Valu Valu in 2012, Badilisha in 2013, and Tubonge in 2014.
He is president of Ugandan music label Leone Island. Leone Island has signed many musicians from Uganda and East Africa, including Moses Radio, Weasel, AK 47, King Saha, Papa Cidy, and Pallaso.
In March 2014 at the Lugogo Cricket Oval Stadium in Kampala, Chameleone broke the record for the largest audience of any East African performer, drawing an estimated 40,000 fans to his “Tubonge Live” concert. The speaker of the parliament of Uganda, Rebecca Kadaga, designated Chameleone to be the Ambassador of the Busoga Tourism Initiative.