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Interview: PR Man Bryan Morel Muhumuza Opens Up About Entertainment Industry

Bryan Morel Muhumuza is a renown artiste manager and Public Relations specialist previously worked with Iryn Namubiru, Hellen Lukoma, DIVA AWARDS AFRICA, Jackie Chandiru and is currently managing RnB singer and Philanthropist Angella Katatumba.

Angella Katatumba who is the founder of The Angella Kataumba Developement Foundation(AKDF) and initiator of the ‘Mulago Yaffe’ campaign has recently been in the news for donating 10 Million UGX to Mulago National Referral Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. She was also invited by United Nations to attend the FIRST ever World Humanitarian Summit later this year besides being appointed honorary Ambassador of the Uganda Bikers Association. We caught up with Bryan to ask him about his role in all this.

 Q: Hello Bryan. You are jolly today. How are you?
A: It is my pleasure. I am so fine. I have been looking forward to this interview. Let’s get it started. It feels like volume and density. (Laughs)

Q: What have you been up to lately?
A: I have been around coordinating various errands. You know my mother has been sick since January. On the other hand, my talented artiste Angella Katatumba recently released the long awaited ‘Mulago Yaffe’ video. The music video is aimed at raising standards of sanitation and healthcare facility services in the country, starting with Mulago Hospital. We are very busy creating awareness and ensuring maximum publicity of this charity campaign in Uganda. But I am always in Kampala.

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Bryan Morel is a busy man

Q: How long have you been involved in the Entertainment Industry?
A: It is now four years. Professionally, I started taking music entrepreneurship seriously in 2012 during my senior six vacation.

Q: It is surprising to many that you take Music PR as an employment. How do you manage?
A: I know…. Many people mistake and confuse PR for advertisement. PR stands for Public Relations. The concept originates from the early concert and company announcements in Latin America. PR is a vital element in shaping the image of a public figure’s personality or Brand Corporation. I strategize and choose established entities. This job is paying.

Q: Any problem(s) met during your course of action?
A: Quit a number! For example, when I was still a student at Makerere University, I found it hard to get money to book studio time for my artistes, shooting videos, buy DVDs, burn music onto them and move around, pay for power play on TVs , clubs and radios.
Money is never adequate. I also suffered exploitation by company managers who would use me to promote their work at an unfair pay. But today, the sun is bright.

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Bryan with Angella handing over a dummy cheque at Mulago Intensive Care Unit

Q: Do you have any memorable experience(s) in your music business life?
A: Yes, I do. In May 2004, Ms. Iryn Namubiru gave me tickets to represent her at the Talent Africa Women’s Day concert Featuring Jamaican maestro Nyanda at Kampala Garden City Rooftop. It was crazy. Iryn was in Dijon, France. Her manager Thadeus Mubiru was in Chiba District, Japan but I made sure her musicianship got a vast representation that night. It was a great experience to attend such celebrations sponsored by Airtel.

Q: What inspires you to carry on?
A: Success and Happiness are the Drivers.(Laughs) These two aspects push me every day to wake up early, get on the road, develop talents lagging behind and promote performing arts. I simply want to be a successful happy gentleman.

Q: What is the current state of PR in Uganda’s music?
A: It is absurd that very few people take the power of promotion seriously. Publicity is key to stardom. Public Relations catalyzes management, control and manufacture of goods and services. I found older guys in the game. Today I know Bryan McKenzie, Julie Nattabi Erusa, Aly Allibhai, Thadeus Mubiru, JK Kazoora, Fortunate Bijou, Martin Larry Mukoza, Daphine Kyarigonza, Sam Yiga, Afroberliner,Joe Kahirimbanyi Apuuli, Miriam Lwanga, Shadrack Kuteesa, Flavia Tumusiime, Steve Jean, Lisa Linda, Veronica Rubanga as my fellows. The number of Publicists is growing.

Q: What do you think every Artiste manager should do for his or her artiste?
A: Hey, we need to focus highly on Regional newspaper features, power play on relevant national and International TV and Radio channels, securing articles on big blogs, attracting Twitter Retweets from big names like BET and Naija FM, International collaborations… Those things add up. That is promotion. Before you know it, Ugandan music will start giving  Beyonce, Nas and 2Face Idibia grand competition.(Laughs)

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Bryan with Angella Katatumba 

Q: I hear some artistes set scandals and pull stunts to stand out.
A: Oh my gaaad. Learned artistes and PR specialists don’t do that. I don’t believe in those Nicki Minaji/Lil Kim cat fights. Lyrical feuds either. Yes, such fights can necessarily call for tabloid attention but it lasts for just weeks.I believe in creativity, hard work and innovation. Fighting literally means death. There is no productivity. Stunts are hoax created by cowards and incompetents.

Q: Describe the Ugandan music Industry in your own words.
A: It is a steadily growing sector. Today, the entertainment world in Uganda co-exists with both efficient and unserious stakeholders. Can you imagine there are songwriters who still come to me for promotion of their work stemmed on vulgar dialects, lyrics, flat scales and uncoordinated bars. Some people are too lazy to learn.

Q: Your last remarks
A: I am grateful to Chano8 for recognizing my position in the society. I am still here, ready to learn and work to promote, develop and manage our gifted performing arts.May God bless you.

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