Ugandan music has grown over the years and there are new talents developing and coming on the music scene every now and then. Many artistes like the good life duo, Eddy Kenzo, Bebe Cool and sheebah have represented Uganda in different categories through music and have scooped some international awards here and there.
Many artistes today have turned tables and music is one of the key players in the county’s present day politics.
However, Ugandan artistes have not had their names sounding on the international scene as Nigerian artistes. What could be lacking? Is a question for those interested in the industry’s growth.
James Propa a Music critic, journalist, music distributer and publisher has revealed why and what should be done for Uganda’s artistes to get there.
- First things first, why is our music not crossing borders?
- Uganda’s music is not crossing borders because of the language. People want to listen to something beyond music. Uganda’s content cannot compete globally because they always sing in Luganda yet their competitors are releasing content in English.
Most of the studios that produce are music are home studios. You may find that only two of Ugandan production studios qualify to make quality sound so the sound from other studios is of low quality and can be easily distorted.
- who do you think is responsible?
- every one of us has not played our roles really well. First the artistes don’t give time to their content. All they want to do is release music. Many times, video vixens and dancers come to video shoots with less or no knowledge about the artiste and the song.
Another thing is instead of advising, many of us are criticizing them. The fans are not fully supportive. We have not played our roles really well.
- young talents are joining groups every now and then but their music is nowhere to be seen. What do you think is the problem?
- This industry is quite competitive and success is outrunning the challenges. The young stars need to fight their battles. We cannot blame individuals on the decisions they take in helping young talents as everyone is trying to help in their capacity.
We should stop criticizing big artistes for not helping young artistes because this industry is for the fittest. You can survive doing different things. Many individuals started as artistes but are now events promoters. There are many ways of promoting the industry.
The inspiration a young talent gets from a big star is enough though there are big entities like Swangz avenue that have gone out of their way to raise the Ugandan flag as far as music is concerned.
- So what advise do you give to these artistes?
- They should invest in it for an international break through. Make an effort that the standard of music produced is that of an international level. Should always have that one person on the team whose role is research and notify the rest of the team what is trending and what the audience wants.
Always have as many knowledgeable people as you can on a project. This will help you produce quality.
Worldwide, music is released on Friday. However, you may find an artiste here happily releasing music on Mondays. People will only get time to push your music on weekends. Release your music on every platform world over Friday and notify your team and media personalities.
- how can an artiste be branded for the international market.
- first of all you need to evaluate and know who you are. Make research and come up with what is lacking on the musical market. Problem is many artistes here are copycats.
Some lucky ones get opportunities and learn a few things from the western world but they never put them into practice. All they know how to do is copy and paste.
- what is your take on collaborations?
- Collaborations are important but those featured on by Ugandans are lacking. They only know how to sing Luganda and this does not market them anywhere else except here. Collaborations are good especially when you feature on songs in a competitive way. Collaborations of Ugandan artistes with the Jamaicans, Nigerians and Tanzanian are a win on one side yet it should be on both sides