In this edition of #AskRwamiti the NTV host talks about why some gospel artistes transition to secular music.
Miles Rwamiti told Chano8 that Uganda does not have a properly structured music industry, if we did, we would have a secretary general, a chairperson and coordination with the largest music entities. What we have are musicians pretending this is an industry. Because of this lack of organization, the gospel industry faces numerous challenges.
People here listen to gospel music, mainly when they are in need of guidance, inspiration mostly when they are going through a tough time, but when people are happy no one listens to it. In my opinion that is why they have a few people listening to it, hence it won’t make money. Most of our great artistes here started out in gospel, but when they realize they need to make money, they turn to secular music.
In the exclusive interview Miles Rwamiti further revealed to Chano8 that sometimes it’s the atmosphere and society. The Strong gospel artistes have been forced to by their listeners to open up and start holding shows in other places other than church, these include places like Serena Hotel. These include artistes such as Bugembe and Judith Babirye. When Judith started out she never wanted to perform out of the church, but it was not until she opened up and to new audiences that the revenues started coming in.
For example, is Revival band, this is a gospel band, but they perform anywhere and have songs of love, relationship issues and politics.
You know it is very easy for secular artists to turn to gospel in tough times. Artists like Chameleon, Cindy, Bebe Cool, Geofrey Lutaya and Mesach Semakula, have had to diversify to make money. They have to keep changing to adapt to the listeners. To make a living you change the way you look at things.
The percentage of gospel artistes is getting smaller because of financial challenges-they have to pay for a studio, improve their image, make videos, promote their songs, yet they can’t perform in bars. Bugembe used to sing in the church, but he only had to diversify now he organizes events like celebrity Sunday, which pulls a lot of people even the non celebrities just to rub shoulders with their favorite celebrities. I have been to one of these events and it was so much fun, you have lunch together and meet people. I would suggest they do it more often like twice a year.
Internationally all great artists we have started out in church like Mariah, Whitney and so many more. Having started out in gospel music, you would think they can’t be in a bar or do some kind of shows yet when they get into secular music they make many changes. They have to promote their music in bars and hang with their fans.
You change how you look, where you hang and carry yourself. An example is Samali Matovu who was a good gospel music artiste 3 to 4 years ago then she moved to secular music and did a song named ‘Omukwana gunyuma’, it had a lot of airplay, but she failed to get what she expected out of it because she wasn’t able to take on the new persona, she lacked a good manager to help her transform, conduct interviews and turn her image around.
I believe that for the gospel artiste to make it, successfully they need the support of the church. Making good music is expensive, the church needs to help its artistes with recording fees, shooting a video, producing and marketing the music and promoting it at concerts too.
The NTV host concluded by saying, Exodus is managing well because he uses his ambassadorial role to promote his music, enabling him to do collaborations from South Africa and all over Africa, but many gospel artists don’t have those resources. The church needs to step in and financially support and guide these artistes on how to fit in and grow bigger.