LinkmeUg acknowledges the great talent Uganda’s youth have in Music, sports and other arts and we bring you information on how to tap into those talents and earn a living.
This Feb, LinkmeUg Career brings you info on how to channel your music passion and talent into a career even if you are employed. We bring you experts in Uganda’s music industry, from Studio producers to live performers, jazz Music, promoters and more.
First we spoke to Andrew Ahurra, a studio producer in Kampala on what it takes to make it in Uganda’s music industry and his advice for young people trying to make it big.
Andrew: You need capital because our industry is not yet developed. So you need enough money to get studio time, make a video for it, have it circulated and even pay for it to be played on some radio stations.
Abroad, radio stations pay musicians but here it’s the reverse. Some young musicians even pay people to call in to some radio stations to request for their songs to be played.
What steps are taken to have a song produced?
Andrew: The first step is a good song with a good melody; you must have an idea on what you want to sing or write about. A song with a good vision is timeless so don’t rush it or it will be stale soon.
Work with the producer on the vision of the song. This is the skeleton; it involves the tune of the verse, and how the chorus and bridge will sound. The producer will be able to advice on what feelings the song should arouse in your audience according to your vision.
Then the track is made, vocals, musicals and instrumentation are then added. All these elements are put together in their right levels such that they fuse together in harmony.
When it is all mixed, we master the music to make it competitive. Music is then encoded so that it can play on specific standards and distribution companies like Itunes, and Amazon.
Who does the background vocals?
Andrew: If you don’t have your own background singers, some can be hired on your account.
What is the average studio cost and time?
Andrew: It’s hard to tell the price before we know the vision of your song. We look at how many vocalists your song needs, and sometimes we have to hire live instrument musicians. But just to give you a figure to plan 500,000 – about 2 Million for a single. About time, usually it takes 2 weeks make a single.
Advise to a youth who wants to drop school to pursue a music career.
Andrew: If you have the money to push your music until it can support you then you may consider it but in Uganda’s economy, you need a job to support your passion. You don’t want to beg money for studio time all the time.
So go do your IT, Mass com or Human Resource and get a job to support your music passion. Start with a single and if it works out, you can use more of your savings to make a video.
Some young musicians are making it, what is the secret, beside capital?
Andrew: In Uganda it matters who is promoting you. It’s hard to just pop out of nowhere and make it. So either you have enough money to really push your music or find an interested promoter willing to invest in your talent..
Advise on singing solo or duos.
Andrew: Consider your target audience, do they want you singing alone, dual or groups? Uganda has not had many boy bands, you need to know what is appealing to the audience and make that.
The future of Uganda’s music industry.
Andrew: The demand for classy and jazzy music is growing with the middle class so I guess young people should study this further and take advantage.
“Don’t leave school to go into music, it might take you years to break through if you do.” Andrew Ahurra, Studio Producer.
By Prossy Nyafono
Online Media for youth