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

img-20170122-wa0001
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

 

 

 

Throw back African Songs that you must listen to

Allow me the honors of taking you down memory lane as we reminisce on the good old days of some of the best throwback African tunes that ever existed.

10. Michael Ross- Yooyo

If there’s a song that was beautifully put together with much thought but effortless excellence, it has to be this one. I have to admit people, I was sprung at the first listen.

9. African Queen

So this is why I respect 2Face (Now Tubaba). At a time when white skinny women were viewed as the epitome of beauty, he changed the conversation, shifting focus to the African woman and the world took notice.

8. Obsessions- Jangu

So this is the main reason that I just did not like these girls; perfect waist lines and amazing moves that only they could pull, making the rest of us look bad. All these then they decided to break up…(rolls eyes) why????

7. Bushoke ft. K-lynn- Nalia Kwa Furaha

I’m still trying to find myself the kind of love talked about on this particular jam…(if at all it exists)…..even the real Gs that I knew back then melted down on this one.

6. Ndihamba Nawe- Mafikizolo

Truth be told, I did not like this song when I first heard it. (Enough of that look- I was young and stupid.) Flash forward 2016 and this has got to be one of the most amazing songs I have listened to in my life. From the melody to the rhythm, I definitely see myself walking down the isle to this song…(well,I might need to find out what it means first before rushing to add it to my wedding playlist….help anyone?)

5. Kweli- Waridi Ft. K- Rupt

Someone explain what happened to Waridi? How do you have such an amazing song then just up and leave for good? Not cool dude, not cool!

4. Maria Salome- Saida Karoli

I am not really sure why Saida Karoli was laughing so hard at the beginning of this song, but I do know that this was a massive tune. And if you have listened to Diamond‘s rendition, then you probably appreciate this song even more- one word; BOMB!

3. . Magic system- 1er Gou

 

I do not understand a single word, but it sounds good and makes me so proud to be African. Plus, this is one of those songs I think I would bond with my dad over…you feel me?

2. Moss Moss- E- Sir Ft. Brenda

What’s a throw back playlist without E-Sir, right? (God bless his soul). He might be gone, but he remains to be one of the greatest African artists to have lived.

  1. Vulindlela- Brenda Fassie

 

Am I the only one thinking that after Diamond’s rendition of Maria Salome, someone ought to do a rendition of Vulindlela? And not just anyone…I’m thinking along the lines of  Yemmi, Wizkid or Sauti Sol…..get my drift? (people that are musical legends in the making, (just incase we are yet to be on the same page)). Now stop whatever it is that you are doing if you haven’t listened to this jam, get onto it and thank me later.

Any other song you think deserves to be on this throwback list?

Do let me know.

 

 

Rkay; On Matters Music Production

robert-kamanzi-image-courtesy-of-prisk-or-ke
RKay (Image courtesy of prisk.or.ke)

Robert Kamanzi also known as RKay or Mwanabuja is a music producer, singer, song writer,  performer and chairman of the Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK).

Besides having worked with top African artists among them Oliver MtukudziJoh Makini, Chidimna,  and  Blu3,  his productions have received recognition in several awards such as MTV MAMA, Kilimanjaro and the Channel O Music Awards.

I got a chance to talk to him some time back, and this is how our conversation went down.

What does it take to be a good music producer?

You have to be patient because you will be working with artists, who think and do things differently,  as it should be within their territory. Being a producer calls for one to be a guider, as you spend a lot of time with  artists in studio and you get to see them at their most vulnerable moments. Some will break down and you have to encourage them. You also need wisdom that makes you  sensitive enough to notice the emotions and thoughts an artist may be having, know how to handle that and be able to deliver for the best results.

 How do you remain relevant in the industry even after years of being here?

I have never been one to follow trends because if that was so, once a trend is phased out, I would follow. Instead, I ride on my own time which helps to fill the gap that is left in between changing trends. Simply put, I  do timeless music. Also, when it is your gift, you will do it well.At the end of the day, I strive to be the best I can be and the rest will take care of itself.

You work with different artists with different styles of music and different personalities. How do you ensure that they  maintain their individuality while at the same time combining that with your input for the best results?

I take every artist as they are and I am always open to finding out more about their individual personality, and allowing it to contribute to what I have to offer. That said, I love exploring new things. Discovering an artist’s personality is one of the ways that brings out excitement in me. So we end up doing something that is tailored and works for an individual artist.

 How about instances when an artist wants to record a song that you probably do not believe in?

One of the biggest responsibilities of a producer is offering guidance to an artist and having been in the industry for as long as I have been, I have learned a lot. It is my responsibility to share that knowledge with artists. An artist may be good but sometimes their perception of things isn’t correct due to wrong information. Providing guidance based on my knowledge helps an artist have a product that is musically correct; something that can take them further.

For the longest time, you remained unchallenged as a top music producer in the region. Times have however changed and we are now having the emergence of other equally talented producers. What makes you stand out from any other top producer?

When you work well with people, they will always want to keep working with you.  People would rather have a great experience than the greatest skill but with lots of headaches. I try my best to provide the best working environment for my artists, which sets me apart.

Having been in the music industry for over a decade now, what are some of the most notable changes that you have noted in the  industry over the years?

One of the biggest changes has been the growth of infrastructure that has enabled the music industry to flourish. We have also seen laws coming into place to make things more favorable for our artists, in terms of copyright and business. All this have led to maximization of profits in this sector which is slowly becoming attractive to investors. Musicians are now earning from their work, unlike before.

Changes you would like to see in Kenya’s music industry…

We need Kenyans to be more appreciative of our own. Our talent may not be perfect, but it is good enough and we can only get better. As a nation, we need to unlearn the culture of throwing away the baby with the bathing water. If you attend your child’s school parents’ day and it turns out that your neighbor’s child is doing better than your own, don’t cheer for them to a point that you forget about your own child. Instead,encourage your child, go home and try to figure out why the neighbor’s child is doing so well. It could be that they wake up an hour earlier for studying before preparing to go to school. Encourage your child to learn from it, so that tomorrow, they can do better. Appreciation encourages even the one who is struggling to want to do better.

 

P.S: Special thanks to my friends Rael Nabalayo and Ken Bonyo who helped me with the interview…Had it in video format but I lost my audio (darn you technology!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Lessons artists can learn from Diamond Platinumz’ music career

  1. The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.

7 Years ago, no one thought of the possibility of Diamond being bigger than any other artist in Tanzania. While some artists are blessed enough to have a pretty face (no pun intended), sick dance moves or even wealth that has them at an advantage as they launch their music careers, Diamond only had a voice needed for what would pass for a good song. Yet, he still became the iconic figure that he is today for East Africa’s Music Industry.

Don’t put your dreams on hold as you wait for the “perfect life conditions”.

  1. Be true to who you are even as you try to attract a larger and more diverse audience.

Diamond has become an international artist by working with different artists from across Africa while remaining true to his sound and the reason why we fell in love with him as an artist.

The only person you should strive to be in an attempt to be successful is the best version of you.

  1. Consistency

It’s hard to keep track of just how many songs Diamond has done since he began his music career in 2009. Some have made for hit songs while some…..well, you only get to know of their existence when you search for his YouTube channel. As an artist, you only get better with song after song to perfect your art, make mistakes while you are at it and learn from them. Ensure that even with the emergence of equally talented artists each new day, you remain unforgettable.

  1. Build an undeniable respectable brand

Love him or hate him, Diamond has packaged himself in a way that many African artists have failed to do so. Even with his collaborations with such successful artists such as Flavour, Mafikizolo and Papa Wemba, he maintains an independent respectable brand that has managed to do so without riding on other people’s fame and success.

  1. There’s much more to a successful music career than talent

Listen, we have so many talented artists from Tanzania. Heck! From Africa Difference is that Diamond has invested in building a brand, with a proper strategy and marketing that makes him stand out.

“You can’t look at the competition and say you are going to do it better, you have to look at the competition  and say you are going to do it differently,” Steve Jobs.

 

The Bongo Music Take- Over

Tanzania's music duo Navy Kenzo
Tanzania’s music duo Navy Kenzo (Image courtesy of 2.bp.blogspot.com)

A few years ago, Kenyan music undoubtedly led the pack in the East African region. Yes, people did listen to Ugandan and Bongo Music, but with artists such as Redsan, Longombaz, E- Sir and Necessary Noize, the country had one hell of a vibrant and unshaken music industry. Flash- forward to 2016 and Tanzania has taken over in ways that make it almost impossible for other countries in the region to catch up.

Have you seen the quality of  music videos being put out there by Bongo artists?…. Just in case you haven’t noticed, most Tanzanian music videos are shot by A- List African music  directors among them Justin Campos, Nicky, Mike Ogike (aka God Father) and Meji Alabi. Their  demand for quality shot up so fast that at one point, most (if not all)  Tanzanian artists were shooting their videos in South Africa and even having their audios done there which in turn birthed a new Tanza/ S.A  sound.

In a recent interview on Ebru TV, Shetta (also known as Baba Kyla) revealed that Tanzanians only know of a few Kenyan artists, such as Sauti Sol, Jaguar and Prezzo. He went ahead to explain that in Tanzania, there is literally an artist in almost every house hold, leaving very little room for the accommodation of foreign music. Hence, the competition is very stiff among Tanzanian artists, forcing them to bring their A- Game, lest they be rendered worthless in the industry.  This has called for quality videos, investing in one’s brand as an artist and generally putting out good music, which are such important elements that play a major role in shaping their music.

Let’s face it; Tanzanians do know how to appreciate their own artists. Getting one million plus views on YouTube is such a common thing for Tanzanian artists that you may want to reconsider your entire music career if you are not hitting the six figure mark. The turn- out of their locals during their performances are insane (it’s typically what happens in a Kenyan concert featuring a Nigerian artist- and not just any artist, an A- list WizKid type of artist)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bG3MSa0P7w

Artists of the Swahili Speaking nation without a doubt know the value of investing in their brands, an aspect that is unfortunately not taken with the seriousness that it deserves in other parts of the region. Considering artists such as Diamond, Ali Kiba, Vanessa Mdee and Lady Jay Dee, you would understand how they have slowly created such great interest in their art beyond the East African Region. Talk of Diamond’s appointment as the official brand ambassador for DSTV and Ali Kiba’s recent signing with Sony Music Label, it is clear that well renowned brands trust them enough to have them represent their image within and outside the region.

During an interview on NTV’s the Trend,  Vanessa Mdee attributed the success of Tanzania’s music to its  structure that she revealed to be more disciplined with an entire lifestyle and culture in place, which guides artists.

Every other country in the region may have the right talent for their music industry but we can do with a few lessons from Tanzania, that will help elevate us as a continent to greater heights.

What other elements do you think have contributed to the success of Bongo music?

Wizkid; Revolutionizing Africa’s Music Industry

 

Wizkid (Image courtesy of i.onthe.io)
Wizkid (Image courtesy of i.onthe.io)

 

Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun better known by his stage name Wizkid is a Nigerian recording artist, songwriter and performer.  The singer who started his musical career at age 11 signed a record deal with Bank W’s Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) in 2009 and then later released “Holla at your Boy”, a song that marked his rise to fame. The singer has since then revolutionized Africa’s Music Industry, arguably establishing himself as the most influential African Artist of his generation.

Here are some of the major strides made during Wizkid’s music career that are molding him into legend;

The Nigerian singer prides himself in numerous awards to his name including the most notable 2012 BET Best International Act Africa Award. In addition to this, Wizkid has been nominated for two Channel O Music Video Awards, three MTV Europe Music Awards and four World Music Awards for the highly contested World’s Best Live Act and World’s Best Male Artist titles.

As if that was not enough, Wizkid has been ranked 5th on Forbes and Channel O’s 2013 list of the Top 10 Richest/ Bankable African Artists. It is however important to note that his is not just riches in terms of money, but also an amazing  distinct voice with equally rich content in his music, which explains his being profiled as one of the 12 most innovative singers in the world with the coolest sounds.

 

In 2014, the Ojuelegba singer became the first ever Nigerian musician to have over 1 million followers on Twitter. Wizkid also had his influence earning him a one- year endorsement deal with Pepsi, alleged to have been worth 350, 000 U.S dollars with the contract later renewed for another two years. He then signed another endorsement deal with Guinness for the “Guinness World of More” concert, before landing an alleged 128 million naira deal with multinational Telecommunications Company GLO.

Wizkid has performed at the BBC Radio 1Xtra Live  alongside big names Trey Songz, Kendrick Lamar, Tulisa and Angel. The Nigerian star recently became the first Nigerian artist to debut in Billboard Top 100 charts, for the song One Dance, in which Drake featured him alongside Kyle and have managed to stay on the charts for one consecutive week. With this, he also made it to Twitter’s Trending 140 charts worldwide.

Wizkid was  listed as the 11th most downloaded artists worldwide  on iTunes along 200 other artists from around the world, again being the only Nigerian artist on the list. He was among world top artists among them Beyonce, Jay Z, Whitney Houston, Justin Beiber, Prince and Iggy Azalea. And if you thought that the huge Nigerian population made up his fans, think again because Wizkid’s songs were said to be downloaded most in Denmark.

In matters fashion, he was named as the best dressed pop star in Nigeria in 2016’s February edition of Vogue, with his sense of style being described as a “trendsetting style just as his sound, with a thoughtful and fun approach to his wardrobe; clean lines and minimalism; a mix of fresh street wear with traditional Nigerian clothes; and bold, bright accessories.”

Wizkid is indeed making a name for himself not just in Africa but the world across, flying the continent’s flag high and having the world look at us and see the great potential in us. His music career can be best summed up as one that involves being bold enough to take risks and standing out by creating your own niche rather than following a crowd.

My 2016 resolutions for Africa’s Music Industry

 

Image courtesy of imlostinbooks.blogspot.com
Image courtesy of imlostinbooks.blogspot.com

 

As mentioned in my last post, 2015 was indeed a great year for Africa’s music industry. However, we are yet to fully maximize on our potential as a continent. Here are my ideal 2016  resolutions for Africa’s Music Industry.

1. Think like a brand- Act like a business.

I just can’t stress this enough. Whether you are an artist, artist manager, a DJ or a publicist, think like a brand and act like a business.This means that just like a business, you will be required to conduct market research, identify current market trends, what works, what does not work and why. You will also need to identify your target audience,  know their needs and work towards meeting those needs. Ensure that you stand out by offering something different other than what your competitor has to offer your target audience. Yes, no idea under the sun is a new idea but then again, why would anyone choose you (if you are an artist) over of 10, 000 other artists to perform in their event? Think about it and start creating your own niche.

2. Invest, Invest, Invest.

Investing applies not just in monetary terms, but also in terms of knowledge and time (which to me are far more important than the first.)

Gain as much knowledge as possible that will help you better your craft. There is plenty of information that you can get on- line, attend conferences, establish networks with people who have been in the industry longer than you have been and learn from them as much as possible.

It is also important to invest your time  in your craft to ensure that you get mastery of it and be the best that you possibly can.That said, if you can afford to, invest in monetary terms to get quality.  For example, if you can afford to pay so much to get a good quality video, by all means, go ahead.

3. Help those who are still up- coming.

Think of it as your legacy in the industry. The only way that the entire music industry can thrive is if those who are ahead provide guidance to those who are only starting out. Remember, your efforts are all pointless if you can’t have a generation that will succeed your work.

With this 3, I think we will have an even bigger music industry by the end of 2016.Do have a fruitful one.

I’m a doer- Cece sagini Ft. Octopizzo

Last week was indeed a great week for fast rising artist Cece Sagini who in addition to getting engaged released her new “I’m a Doer” song featuring Octopizzo. With a soulful and jazzy feel to it, this is a laid back 3 minutes and 59 seconds tune, encouraging people to step out of their comfort zone and to work towards fulfiling their dreams and goals in life.

The audio produced by MG Production is incredible and with Cece’s strong vocals, one cannot help but love it. The video was directed by Moses Osidana, who also directed Wangechi’s Cardiac Arrest Video. Complementary to the song’s audio, the video is simple yet classy, therefore telling better the story of what one stands to gain by being a “doer”. The visual appeal is one that cannot be missed out on, with great lighting on a modern breath taking urban setting, combined into a variety of shots.

Octopizzo and Cece Sagini (Image courtesy of nairobiwire.com)
Octopizzo and Cece Sagini (Image courtesy of
nairobiwire.com)

Cece’s choice of Octopizzo as the featured artist to the song is well thought through as he represents a “rags to riches” story that has been made possible through his hard-work. Octopizzo delivers on this one with heavy punchlines that do justice to the song. This is indeed amongst the best collaborations that we have had in the recent past.

Under her slogan #CeceOnAMission which started last year on December 31,  “I’m a doer” is inspirational with lessons we all can borrow from. As she elaborates on an interview with the Daily Nation, the slogan is “a constant reminder of where I would love to be and it also serves as motivation and inspiration to myself and others: ‘If I’m doing it, we all can.” This way, we are reminded that success is not a destination but rather a continuous journey through which we should strive to be better each day.

This is certainly a song that you should check out if you haven’t done that already.

I would love to know what you think about it as well, so do share.

 

 

Reference.

http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/buzz/Cece-Sagini/-/441236/2816822/-/11a5rph/-/index.html

That extra spice that is needed to have the talent succeed.

Image courtesy of thenet.ng
Image courtesy of thenet.ng

Over the last few years, Nigerian music has been getting a lot of air play in Kenya’s main stream media, at the expense of Kenyan music. This has sparked an endless debate and while many agree that the Kenyan music industry is fast growing and with much promise, it is clear that there is still a lot more that ought to be done. Today, I share my views on the factors that have contributed to the success of Nigeria’s music industry, beyond the West African borders. Hopefully, Kenyan artists would be able to pick a few lessons and use them to develop their music careers and our own industry further.

Authenticity.

This has been the major selling point for Nigerian music. While various Nigerian artists explore different genres of music among them Hip- hop, Afro Pop and RnB, one thing in all these stands out; the authentic Nigerian sound. This is evident in the use of native languages Igbo and Yoruba in their music, and yet still with an incorporation of English, which is more inclusive.

It is also impossible to miss out on the high energy drum pattern beats used in Nigerian music. Even as every artist aims to sound different from the other and in every new song that they do, it is easy to distinct a Nigerian song from the others, without necessarily knowing much about it.

On the other hand, most Kenyan artists who initially owned Genge and Kapuka styles of music have veered off, with everyone trying to curve their own niche. In the process, many have missed out on that which defines the Kenyan music industry as a whole, and therefore failed to contribute to the creation of a unique Kenyan sound.

Good quality videos.

Nigerian music videos have great visual appeal, thanks to their good quality. One cannot compare 2Face Idibia’s African Queen that ushered the Kenyan audience to Nigeria’s contemporary music, to Tiwa Savage’s Eminado featuring Don Jazzy. While both of these videos are likeable, there is notable improvement on the video quality of the latter.

During a press conference, Alex Okosi, the Senior Vice- President and Managing Director of MTV Networks in Africa attributed the improvement on the quality of Nigerian music videos to training provided by MTV on production of the same. This according to him was crucial when MTV started working in Nigeria, adding that the best way to market oneself was by having high quality music videos.

The quality videos have consistently proven a lot of creativity. With relateable content and the use of hi- tech cameras, a song such as Johnny by Yemmi Alade still draws one to watch it, despite being a simple concept implemented in a rural setting.

A good quality video maybe costly especially to an artist who is not yet established and yet still, the only way to get good returns is through reasonable investment. That way, it is also possible to get bigger platforms such as MTV Base playing such videos, which leads to greater exposure to a larger and diverse audience.

Nigerian artists have mastered the art of standing out.

As mentioned earlier, it is easy to tell a song that has been done by a Nigerian with its distinct Nigerian sound. However, Nigerian artists have mastered the art of standing out. While Davido and WizKid are both new age afro- pop artists, they each have their own distinct sound that would make one choose either over the other for different reasons.

Consistency.

CNBC Africa notes that Nigeria’s music industry produces over 550 albums of different kinds of music annually. This is in comparison to the 1800 releases (songs) in a year done in Kenya, according to Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK). While it is important to allow for sufficient time for a song to grow and have its place in the music industry, most Kenyan artists have also allowed their audience to forget about them one too many times, due to their lack of consistency. On the other hand, Nigerian artists keep releasing song after song and even when one may not like a particular song from a particular artist, there is always a next song waiting in line for one to like. Such variety and consistency contributes to growth and the chance for an artist to perfect their craft, constantly engaging their audience and gradually understanding their needs and preferences.

Easy accessibility of Nigerian music.

For a long time, media personalities and players of supporting industries have been blamed for the stagnation of the Kenyan music industry due to their supposed “lack of support”. A few weeks back, PRISK (Performers Rights Society of Kenya) demanded that DJs in Kenya pay Ksh. 15, 000 annually, in order to play Kenyan music. While this may be seen as a move that will help elevate Kenyan music to greater heights, its practicality and success has remained questionable. Nigerian music is already on high rotation and this will remain as long as it is at no extra costs, as compared to Kenyan music. This would also mean the downfall of the Kenyan music industry and lack of a platform for Kenyan artists, especially up- coming artists who above everything else need exposure.

That said, I acknowledge Kenyan artists that are flying the Kenyan flag high, in spite of the numerous challenges that they face in the industry. Bands such as Sauti Sol and Elani are proof that you can still do well even as a Kenyan artist. Consider how well these two Kenyan bands are doing and the factors that I have attributed to the success of Nigerian music.Simple, universal rules. You play your cards right, you win, irrespective of where you are from.

REFERENCES.
1. http://www.naij.com/66293.html
2. http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/guest-articles/nigeria-music-conquers-africa-eyes-the-world.html
3. http://www.cnbcafrica.com/news/western-africa/2014/05/28/nigeria%E2%80%99s-music-industry-set-to- hit-a-high-note/
4. http://www.sde.co.ke/pulse/article/2000142057/gambling-for-the-pie-in-kenya-s-music-industry
5. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/24/nigerias-afrobeats-redefining-the-sound-of-africa
6. http://www.64hiphop.com/index.php/features/item/103-beef-wars-why-dj-s-are-at-loggerheads-with-prisk-kamp-kshs-15000-payment-rule

Beyond the title.

The much awaited 2015 BET Awards finally took place, with Ghana’s Stonebwoy winning the Best International Act Africa Category and Uganda’s Eddy Kenzo walking away with the Viewers choice Best New International Artist Award.

Uganda's Eddy Kenzo - Viewer's Choice Best New International Artist BET 2015 awards (Image courtesy of citizentv.co.ke)
Uganda’s Eddy Kenzo – Viewer’s Choice Best New International Artist BET 2015 awards (Image courtesy of citizentv.co.ke)

While both awards signify an appreciation for the artists’ contribution to the music industry, this is what it actually means beyond the earned titles:

Stonebwoy and Eddy Kenzo are now not only stars in Africa but the world all over, thanks to these awards. The platform provides great exposure and the world will certainly be looking out to see what is next from these two artists.

Stonebwoy and Eddy Kenzo have paved the way for other Ghanian and Ugandan artists as people will now want to explore more of the music from the two countries that these BET winners represent. Hence, the win is not just limited to the two but to the entire music industry of the countries that they each represent.

Everyone wants to be associated with a well- known and winning brand. The same principle applies to Stonebwoy and Kenzo. Individual artists and corporates would want to be identified with these two brands in an effort to push their own brands.

Both titles come with more responsibility. Hence, much more will be expected not just from Stonebwoy and Kenzo but other nominees for the same category and African artists at large. While everyone will be working to up their game, we are set for more quality music from the African continent.

Stonebwoy & Sauti Sol BET 2015 (Image courtesy of nydjlive.com)
Stonebwoy & Sauti Sol BET 2015 (Image courtesy of nydjlive.com)

Stonebwoy and Kenzo would certainly be able to negotiate for higher rates, being the international stars that they now both are.

With the win, both artists are an encouragement and a challenge to other African artists to do better and ensure good quality music.

On the Flip Side:

While the win for both artists signify great mileage for Africa’s music industry as a whole, there is still a lot more that needs to be done to ensure that indeed the winners get the needed exposure.