The secret to entering Uganda’s music industry is a good song and the right voice for it. Such a song will hit every radio station and get concert organizers looking for you. LinkmeUG spoke to Daniel Nelson Wamala, the CEO and chief producer at Deevibes Entertainment about how young people interested in the music industry should enter.
LinkmeUG: What is the first step for a young person who wants a career in music?
Daniel: We recommend upcoming artists to approach experts for advice. In the past, you could start out alone but now you can’t. Today you need the song, a producer, marketer; it’s not a one man show any more. You can’t produce, direct and market a song all alone and think you will succeed. Some young musicians want to even direct the video themselves, this can’t work. You need a team of experienced people.
Daniel: The producer may advise you to change the song depending on the audience you are targeting. You should be flexible to their advice because they know the audience. The Ugandan audience is different from Tanzania for example. Sometimes you need to change the song you are doing, some style of music is not for the Ugandan audience. Marketing the song is not only about moving with your CD from place to place. You need an experienced marketer with a media kit (profile of you.) Your CD should be well labeled. Starting into the music world may be expensive but if you have a good song then you will get subsidized prices and the opportunities that come after that will pay your costs.
LinkmeUG: What is a good song?
Daniel: It is one well written with good lyrics, done by a good producer and a song which gives a good feeling. A song may have good sound in the studio but the final product turns out to be lousy, meaning that the producer didn’t do a good job during the mastering.
LinkmeUG: Is a good voice enough to go into music or I need to be able to write songs?
Daniel: You need not just a good voice but a voice suitable for the kind of music you are going to do. A soothing voice for example is not suitable for dance hall music. Usually the first song is written by the musician but many singers in Uganda don’t sing their own songs. Alternatively, if you are not good at writing, tell someone [you can ask at a music studio] what you want to sing about and let them write for you.
LinkmeUG: What kind of music do Ugandans want?
Daniel: In Uganda, it is a mixture; in fact Ugandans will dance to any good song regardless of whether it is Afrobeat [chameleon and Bebecool do this], lugaflo, or dancehall. Uganda is not like Nigeria, South Africa or Jamaica where the style is dictated.
LinkmeUG: As a producer, what can you do for a youth who wants to sing?
Daniel: We have monthly talent searches at Deevibes studio in Bweyogerere. We take on good people and market them. Challenge is many run off when they finally release a good song.
LinkmeUG: After identification what next?
Daniel: You get to choose what you can sing, we produce songs with you, and market the song to the stations for about 3 months. We then get you concerts to sing as curtain raisers but we usually have to pay for this. Local bands also contact us for talent and we forward our best students.
LinkmeUG: When does the money come in?
Daniel: It comes in the long run when concert organizers start calling for you to sing but it takes patience. When it does, we talk about the profit sharing, 50/50 or 60/40 depending on the opportunity.
LinkmeUG: Have you turned away some youths?
Daniel: Yes we have, either because of indiscipline by a singer or voices that need to much input to train, We also have limited resources and space so we take in the best 10 of the people who come for auditions. But we don’t discourage anyone.
Linkmeug: if someone can’t sing but loves the music world, what options do they have?
Daniel: We train radio and television presenters, video and audio editing, camera operations. For youths with a passion in music but already at campus studying other courses, we are flexible with lesson time. They can continue with their courses but have a short training in music or the media world.
LinkmeUG: Duration and fee
Daniel: All our courses are broke down into monthly packages, one can do between a month and 6 months. It is practical and so they get to learn a lot. Each month goes for only 100,000/= but discounts come when one studies for more months.
Call Daniel on 0772/0701428612
At LinkmeUG, we encourage you to exhaust your potential, give your talent “some polishing” but don’t quit your degree/diploma program. Give yourself more opportunities to choose from.
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