As we have all witnessed, Uganda has a very vibrant music industry. Almost everyday, a new talented artiste pops up. However, staying at the top is a recurring problem, nowonder we have very many ‘one hit wonders’ in the industry. Making a come back after one or two successful tracks is a problem.
Surviving in the Ugandan music industry comes with a lot of work, coming up with something new, branding oneself, running your own race, having a good management, the list goes on. Funding however is something that may be over looked by an artist, and yet its one of the most important factors if one is to survive in the industry.
Likely 98.99 percent of Ugandan artistes are independent. This means that they are solely doing everything they can to support their careers financially on their own.
So how do they financially support their careers?
- Money may come from handouts from supporters and these in most cases may not even amount to much. Sponsors may also chip in, and many artistes also have businesses on the side. The problem comes with how much work they have to put in to keep their businesses afloat, while maintaining a successful music career.
- Savings, anyone?
- Performances and merchandise sales may also bring in some funds. To achieve this, a fan base has to be nurtured over time – the creative has to put in prior work to build a tribe.
- Revenue from music streams or digital downloads. This works best for mostly more established artistes much as streaming offers little pay – every cent counts.
- Partnering with small business or businesses that are equally growing just like the creative.
- Mostly however, the bulk of the financial aid they need to survive will likely come from loans.
- Some careers can be supported by way of creative grants from organisations or government for different kinds of projects.
- Go Fund Me or the equivalent
If the government is equally willing to provide funds, it would also be great. The list is endless.
Funding should never be overlooked, everything in the industry depends on it, besides the proverbial ‘connections’. From composing or hiring a song writer, to production, videography and advertisement, everything will only move if there is money. Artistes should therefore pick the right funder, revenue stream and plan appropriately.
98.99 percent of Ugandan artistes are independent.— Beware 2 🎧 (@NuveySHAWN) November 14, 2022
If a career doesn't pick up, it's fair to say they tried.
Now, how do most artistes fund their music?
Sources of independent artistes finance
-sponsors (sugar and salt mamas and Dada's and more) pic.twitter.com/a1AuyRVVn9
Planning will make them better suited to take on any unexpected financial challenge. It will give more focus to the artiste knowing how they’ll maneuver through the industry.
At this point the artist or their team should know they are operating a business and the business has to be handled.
It is really a jungle out here, everyone is fighting to survive and be great and so as artistes do your absolute best. Even us fans, let us be kind and supportive to our artistes.
To quote the founder of NuveyLive, Ayella ‘NuveySHAWN‘: It is not easy at all, and if a career does not pick up, it is at least fair to say they tried.
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