Innocent Kawooya and Mohamed Kimbugwe
Music and Money are inseparable!
Just like a young man sells his ancestors graveyard and uses the money to start a business in an arcade somewhere in town; just like a young lady gets a loan and starts a shop in Kikuubo, so is music.
Music is a job, career, profession and business like any other that has created multimillionaires, influential people capable of endorsing presidential candidates as well as personalities that have inspired millions.
Music is a powerful trade that rotates around money, involves investments, risks, gains and losses. Let no one lie to you that music is some form of charity where you walk in and find everything on a silver platter.
If one plans to join music, they must have a business plan and must keep the numbers in mind. From performing artists, to professional songwriters and record producers, they must all have a business plan and a budget.
One must be able to invest and work so hard to ensure that their investment yields returns. Well, you may say you are a young and struggling musician with no money to spend and must as such be helped.
Well, walk into Owino with the same talk and see if you’ll be given a free stall. Walk into a bank with the same talk and see if you will be given a loan. This may sound heartless, but it is reality. You either have a business plan and a budget or don’t waste time joining music.
As a young recording artist, you will need money for audio production, money for video production and after all that, you will need money to package your music, brand it, market it and distribute it. None of those will come for free.
You may be the most gifted vocalist Africa will ever see but if you don’t perceive music as a business and are not ready to invest, you will need a miracle to push your music through to the top and attain success!
If you are an intending record producer or video producer, you will need money for training or for the procurement of equipment and for promoting your business in general. You must therefore have a business plan and ask yourself how exactly you intend to run business.
You will not survive in the trade when your colleagues are buying better audio or video production equipment, embracing new technology and some of them even taking on courses on how to better their skills in the game.
You must have a business plan and a budget. You must devise means of making profits and re-investing your profits from time to time. You must accord music the seriousness it deserves, just like any other business.
As a young and upcoming musician, don’t join the trade thinking that audio producers will produce your music free of charge or that video producers will craft your videos free of charge or that radio and television presenters will play your music without an incentive; or that out of the so many mushrooming musicians, a DJ will give your music priority over that of an artist that has a budget.
My pretty friend ‘Roy’ invested in her body, she energetically joined the music market, next day. Men (such as promoters, radio and TV presenters, and producers) scorched her legs, she got a big hit and vanished! “Don’t be like her”!!
It is so shocking that some people find it strange when a DJ or Radio presenter asks a musician for money. If you pay the producer who crafts you audio, go ahead and pay the producer who crafts your video, what then is wrong with paying the presenter or DJ who makes your music popular?
Besides, why should the radio producer allot you free airspace, when there are so many up and coming musicians your age that are willing to pay for the same? It is also misled and misleading for anyone to imagine that this is a Ugandan or African scenario.
World over, artists spend exorbitant sums of money marketing and promoting their music. Even in the first world, you’ll find billboards, adverts and posters of artists promoting their music and this costs them.
In some cases, a record label may even decide to buy a chain of radio or television stations just to have unlimited space for marketing and promoting their artists. Truth is, artists spend world over, just to take their trade to another level.
So, just like you have a production budget, you must have a media budget and don’t think that this is charity, where people will just promote your profit making venture at no fee at all. You must part with money, except in situations where someone just wants to help you.
In every business, just like in music, there are new comers; people who are just joining the trade and embrace even worse hardships than some musicians. From low pay to salary cuts, every new comer out there faces the fire of their new trade.
Young business persons start with the little they have, sacrifice and reinvest their slim profits until their businesses grow and expand. A musician is not any different and should not expect to be spoon fed by the system.
Music is a business and you must invest.