KAMPALA – It is four years now, as a lawyer and a reggae performing artist, I have been advocating for the copyright law and regulation of our multi-million creative arts industry.
Creative art is a mirror to the society and regulations at the same time paint shade to potential investors. This, therefore, gives the artist a chance to have a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the government and development partners.
The Growth of this Industry in Uganda which includes the playwrights, performing artistes, musicians, comedians, audio and video, producers, content developers, promoters, managers, fashion designers, painters, novelists, writers and other stakeholders participating has been organic, hence the government needs to work with the private sector through fraternities like; Uganda Musicians Association(UMA), Artist Labour Union among others to defy the status-quo.
Regulations for the creative arts are not a new phenomenon in Uganda. They are important for the growth, sustainability and economics of any sector.
Order and structure is something artists themselves have advocated for based on the fact that it has grown organically on its own.
That said, we believe that the private sector should be the custodians to the creation and implementation of the regulations for their own business.
With over 10years now participating in the game. I’m a testimony of the growth of the music industry.
Let me share my journey and also how I intend to contribute to the creative arts of Uganda with my ReggaeLize Movement.
I started the BaBa. RAA brand way back in 2009, when I did my first song; ‘Isabella’ with SWANGZ AVENUE produced by Benon Mugumya, thereafter I became a backup artist for Vampino for six years until 2017 when I decided to start my solo career.
As a solo artist the journey is like any other with good and bad times, the really bad times are common for every artist in Uganda and the major ones being lack of implementation of our copyright law and the way music is distributed in Uganda.
With the above challenges in the industry, in 2017, I founded Creative Arts for Social Transformation (C.A.S.T) which was visualized on making sure that the artist or the most vulnerable ones such as rural and disabled or depressed could get information on how to protect their rights and how to work professionally.
With C.A.S.T. we did research, came up with a report which is not yet published officially but it has been viewed and reviewed by key stakeholders in the industry and they appreciated our work.
In 2018, I came up with a band called AFRO-SAUTI BAND and with this band, we have been simply performing reggae music in different venues including One 54 in Bunga, however, I have deliberately not been recording music but re-branding, vocal training with the band and performing live music until the musical maturity became ripe in 2020 with the REGGAE EP ‘Untold Story’.
And the first single off my REGGAE EP is REGGALIZE. REGGAELIZE is a Song of Good Vibes, a song that uplifts our spirits, this song is meant to free our talents, potential and mental slavery as Ugandans and Africans.
Reggaelize is a movement that calls upon everybody; the musicians, the presenters, the DJs, the artists, the MC’s and other stakeholders in the Music Industry to realize and give reggae music more platforms and more airplay.
We are looking at uplifting the Ghetto to another level by building communities and creating commodities. This is the new wave in the industry that is going to take the art to a professional level.
With Reggae Music we say, IT IS ONE VOICE, IT IS ONE MOVEMENT, IT IS ONE PERSON, WE ARE ALL MUSICIANS AND WE NEED TO SUPPORT EACH OTHER, IT IS ONE LOVE!