Kayemba Andrew who most people know as Sizza man is a Ugandan artiste doing dancehall music or what we call afro beat. He started his musical journey in 2011 and was among those who gave dancehall music a new feel from what we were used to but the “Angella” artiste ever since then believes the Ugandan music industry hasn’t moved a step further but just heading backwards. And his reasons are as follows.
He says Uganda has no record labels like Nigeria or South Africa. What we have here are companies managing artistes and in most cases it’s those companies that benefit more than the artiste. “A record label is supposed to spot talent from, invest in them, give them anything to make their lives better, push their careers and after start sharing the profits but in Uganda, a label approaches someone who already has hits and straight away starts sharing the money yet it’s the musician who caters for the video, audio and promotion of the songs.”
He further says artiste’s used to benefit a lot from album sells back then but now, they survive on concerts and tours which affects even the established artistes. “Fallen musicians like Elly Wamala, Philly Bongole Lutaya didn’t do concerts back then but were rich from album sells but because of the copyright law, a song is already on the streets even before it leaves studio. This affects the album sales because the audience has already consumed the songs so our only source of income is concerts which we make once a year through album launches and probably country tours that come once in a while.” He explained.
“Cooperate companies that would have helped to make the industry a better place are just exploiting artistes. You find an artiste in an endorsement deal with a cooperate company and while the whole world thinks he’s getting something worthwhile from it, he or she is just getting peanuts and usually the artists are not supposed to work with any other company offering the same services so they are limited,” Sizza says.
In South Africa and Nigeria, just like the USA and other developed countries, media houses pay the artistes when they play their songs unlike in Uganda where it’s the artiste who pays for every song they take for promotion whether the song will be played or not.