By Innocent Kawooya | Mohamed Kimbugwe | Editor: Consolate Kyarikunda
Apart from the artists themselves, a music industry thrives on genuine investors, partners and contributors. These may invest their time, knowledge and money in ensuring the growth of artists and a music industry in general.
Such partners may include those that genuinely promote artists, those that genuinely finance artists, and those that make a general contribution to a music industry in a variety of ways, both profit making and nonprofit making.
Music is a business and as such, there’s absolutely nothing wrong for such partners to make a profit, but to such partners, the industry comes first. They are aware that the growth of the industry works for all and as such, they concern themselves with the growth of the industry, more than the profits.
Above all, genuine partners don’t squeeze life out of artists with back breaking deals, unbelievable conditions for promotion and financing and several other things. Such partners, investors and contributors have got the industry at heart.
Then there are a whole lot of exploitative imposters who force themselves on the industry for selfish gains. They believe they know everything about music or just consider themselves an authority simply because they have money.
Such are the music industry vampires. They are not on record as having invested even a single coin for good of the industry, save for milking artists. They don’t interest themselves in grooming new talent or providing a platform for rising talent, but just look for opportunities for money.
They major in organizing events where they interest themselves in artists with hits. They will milk them to depletion and once they are done with them, they will pick on the next batch of artists with hits, milk them too and the miserable cycle continues.
They are quick at claiming praise as promoters and investors in the industry, when reality is that all they do is take from the industry. They snatch from it and never give back to it. They can’t claim a legacy as contributors to the steady growth of the Ugandan music industry.
They are well known for lending artists in form of old cars and money for concerts, all of which comes at conditions that leave these artists crippled. In the guise of helping artists, they literally lead to their demise.
For almost every struggling or completely done artist, you’ll find the hand of these vampires. They can be blamed for the disappearance of such artists as Yung Mulo, Samalie Matovu and Stabua Natolo among several others.
These vampires are doing everything in their power to break the backs of the very artists they claim to help. They are such a disastrous lot!
They act corporate but want to have 60; 40 share of an endorsement an artist gets from a company. Practically, the artist is working for them and not reaping sensible benefits from them.
They have the money to start studios, bands and cozy venues; and are very famous sleeping with every hot female artist until the divas become their own vampires. This has destructed a lot of female artists, making it hard for them to explore their full potential.
They have even gone as far as wanting to recognize and award the best, even when they know so little about music and what actually elicits credible recognition and awards. They ignorantly venture where they shouldn’t even dare.
They forget that technically, the credibility to award and recognize talent should rest with institutions doing something tangible for a specific industry. They dent the very image of an industry they claim to be interested in developing.
They will give anyone what they call VIP treatment by inviting them to their clubs and bars to drink for free every day! The next thing you know, you will perform for free entrance or a beer; a thing that makes an artist very valueless.
All you end up doing is help them market their places and beer and guess what happens to your value as an artist! It depletes completely and when you want fans to pay for your event, it will be a real struggle!
These vampires are doing more harm than good for the Ugandan music industry. They have infested it with their selfish interests and always try to stand in the way of genuine contributors; contributors that are more interested in the growth of the industry than just profits.
So to all artists and stakeholders in the Ugandan music industry, watch out for these vampires for you may fall victim to their selfish antics. Like the adage goes, forewarned is forearmed. Stick to only those partners and contributors that have a track record of tangible contribution to the music industry.