Behind Uganda’s Creative Music Director- Hassan Bahemuka’s Camera

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Hassan Bahemuka  (right), (Image courtesy of Joni Musi)

Hassan Kintu Bahemuka  is a Ugandan Creative Music Video Director and an entrepreneur running Hasz Media. Not only is he the name behind top Ugandan Music Videos, but boasts of several nominations and awards including the prestigious MTV Africa and  Nigeria’s Soundcity Awards.  I got the rare chance of interviewing him (something he admittedly avoids, and this is how it all went down)

How did you get into music video directing?

It started during one of my Form 6 school breaks. I was editing footage  from my brother’s video library;  events and weddings to be specific. A friend realized my talent and had me join Uganda’s WBS TV. I worked at WBS for 5 years, making my way up to be the head of production, before calling it quits to go do my own thing. Video director Don Mugisha (Deddac) played an important role in my journey by providing mentor-ship.

From weddings and events to TV and then finally settling for music videos, why so?

Besides directing music videos being a passion, I love the creativity that it allows room for. Being a creative music video director also provides great exposure for one’s brand and is financially rewarding.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Being nominated for Nigeria’s Soundcity Awards for the best pop video in Africa Category for Toniks’ Nzewuwo. For a low budget video to be competing against videos that had a budget of up to 20 thousand US dollars and shot by Africa’s best video directors was and will remain to be such a memorable and humbling experience.

Sometime back, you were alleged to be wanted by cops for having conned an upcoming Ugandan artist. Tell us your side of the story..

An employee of mine under my company- Hasz Media had taken money from an artist without my knowledge. Once I found out, I tried to resolve the issue by talking to the artist in question, but things took a different turn. Because my employee had taken money under my company’s name, I had to take the heat for it. The issue was however finally resolved.

Which creative video directors do you look up to?

In Africa, Nigeria’s Sesan, while internationally, I look up to Canadian Music Video Director, Director X  .I am always watching out for their work.

What challenges do you face as a video director?

Budgeting. Every artist has a different budget for their music videos, depending on their individual financial ability. I however have to deliver and to ensure quality and consistency in the standard of my work, irrespective of an artist’s budget.

If you weren’t in the entertainment business, what would you be doing?

Farming,  which is something that I actually do on the side. I own a 14 acre piece of land that I use purely for farming.

Final words for any aspiring video director out there?

Work on building your brand and don’t be fooled by the hype.

 

Check out the latest video that Hassan has worked on;

 

You can also check out other music videos directed by Hassan on his YouTube Channel,

https://www.youtube.com/user/Haszmedia/featured

 

 

 

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