Rachel Magoola, born of music teacher parents, started singing at an early age. She joined the school choir aged seven and sang throughout her youth both at school and her local church. Rachel trained as a music teacher and taught for eleven years at Namasagali College, a secondary school and Kaliro Primary teacher training college. Her college choir represented the region several times at national music competitions in Uganda.
Rachel Magoola performed with Uganda's top group, the Afrigo Band from 1989 to 2001. She is now a successful artiste in her own right, having produced four solo albums. The song Obangaina, from her first album Inhaife was arguably the biggest hit in the history of Ugandan popular music. It remained number one on Capital Radio's Hot 7 at 7 for 30 consecutive days, a record yet to be beaten. The videos of Inhaife and Vooto were extensively played on Uganda TV, WBS and other TV stations. Rachel has hosted several radio shows in Uganda including Kampala's Top Twenty and The Morning Crew shows on Capital Radio, as well as being a guest on its Desert Island Discs programme and BBC's Focus on Africa.
In a New Vision poll, Rachel Magoola was voted one of the 100 most influential women. One of her English-language hits is the song "Take Me As I Am", written for the Sickle Cell Association of Uganda (SAU). It raises awareness about sickle cell anaemia and is a heartfelt plea to stop discrimination against those who suffer from the disease. Meanwhile "Bakulimba", was selected for the CD "Flavours of Sound", compiled by the Commonwealth Secretariat for its warning messages about underage relationships and related risks among the youth. "I am not a Toy" was written for the girl education movement. "Under the Sand" is Rachel's latest contribution towards creating awareness about HIV/AIDS and is a call for behaviour change among the youth.
"Songs from the Source of the Nile" is an internationally available compilation of songs from her four albums, released on ARC Music.