Category: Music

The Money of Music in Uganda

There is a popular prevailing assumption that when you make a hit song, you break through and achieve lots of success. The reality is very sobering. Every music artist must have a side hustle or alternative streams of income other than recording and performing music. Pamela Acaye dives into the Ugandan music industry and speaks to some key players to investigate where the money is in music.

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Uganda Recordings

Ugandan Recordings is a Scandal Studios project to uncover and document music from northern Uganda. The search has found artists with a variety of instruments such as adungu, lukeme, nang’a, bila and orak. All recorded songs are accompanied by video clips, so one can see how each artist creates their work.

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Rift Valley Festival 2013

A platform like the Rift Valley Festival can be used to strategically develop ones career, but it is dependent on the vision of the musician. There is no point in going there to just collect contacts. One must follow up with emails or phone calls in order to develop relationships or explore future collaborations.

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A Mind of Its Own

“When I have been surrounded by gracious courteous musicians, the stage has always been a space of incredible intimacy. Those times when I have played in the orchestra have once or twice felt as though I was being swept up by a thunderstorm. You watch the notes lift off the page as you play them; suddenly the world disappears around you.” An essay on music, love and jazz by Serubiri Moses.

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Singing for the Heart

“Right now, with the growth of the creative industry globally and the culture of “bling” as perpetrated by mainstream artists, I think a lot of people think it’s a way to make fast money. It looks glamorous, being on stage, mingling with stars, having lots of money—which is a myth, there is always a price to be paid when signed to a major label—nice clothes, fast cars and beautiful men and women around you, but in fact it is a profession that takes a lot of commitment, practice and hard work.” An essay on singing by Ife Piankhi.

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Wazo 10: Xenson tells his story

On April 2nd 2013, the guest speaker for Wazo 10 was conceptual and visual artist, musician, filmmaker and poet, Ssenkaaba Samson, who goes by the name Xenson. In his introduction the moderator, David Kaiza, described Xenson as someone whose varied work in fashion, music, poetry and the visual arts has exponentially expanded what we call art and the art space in Uganda.

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Bayimba Jinja: Crowd-pullers wanted

There was that general feeling that the Bayimba Festival in Jinja had not been advertised enough, hence the slow attendance of people. Festivals are supposed to give you that sense of excitement and belonging. It’s hard to get that with a scanty number of people. That aside, the sound of music of its own is bound to bring you numbers since the event was in a public space and considering that shs 1000 is not a lot to pay. On this occasion, there was something missing in the music acts that performed. This festival needed at least one or two big names that are certain crowd-pullers to uplift the mood of the festival.

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Producing Culture on Twitter: Is it Ugandan?

From the exposure many Ugandan musicians such as Navio, The Mith, Keko, Lillian Mbabazi and Maurice Kirya are receiving on Twitter, it would not be inappropriate to say that popular Ugandan music is experiencing a boom in Africa. Unfortunately, this has exposed their largely Western aspirations, creating the daunting questions such as: Who is the audience on Twitter? Which culture does one produce for? And, is it possible to produce a cultural following on Twitter?

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The International Women’s day Festival

On March 8th, one couldn’t help but wonder how art would be used to celebrate such an interesting phenomenon of the human race. Would it call for a sculpture of the woman in all her glory, a painting of her most-prized assets? Or how she embraces art in her day-to-day life to make it comfortable for herself and her loved ones? Certainly for the international celebrations of the Women’s day at the Sheraton, the answer lay in this last one. The theme of the festival was how independent is the Ugandan Woman? A retrospect of the past 50 years, present and future perspectives.

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The influence of ancient drum practices on contemporary music

African societies, since time immemorial, have always been moved by the sound of the drum. Communication and celebration with percussions were norms within our numerous cultural contexts. Drums in African traditional societies were sources of identity that distinguished various social groupings. Samuel Lutaaya has interviewed Brian Magoba to learn how drums have been used in contemporary pop music compared to traditional music.

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On Cultural Destiny: The Klaus Wachsmann Music Archive

(As a society), we are responsible for documenting, studying and understanding the musical heritage that is available. Many contemporary musicians are looking for avenues to make their work more authentic. … The Klaus Wachsmann Music Archive would be the perfect place to establish more accurate study by those same musicians who are searching for ‘authenticity’ to research on various instrument, and to hear recordings of the canons of master players in Uganda’s cultural legacy.

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