I always get several Facebook questions from upcoming artistes in Uganda, asking me this particular question “how do we make good marketable songs?”
When I say good songs, I mean quality songs that can put food on your table as an artiste.
When it comes to making good music, there are so many things to put into consideration, you might want to consider your style, your lyrics, your voicing textures, your music genre and many more.
What kind of music do you do?
Define your style
As an artiste, you need to define your style and brand of music that you are into? Yes, what kind of music do you do?
Ask yourself this question before settling down to compose anything. You must compose songs that suits your own style to keep originality and consistency.
There are numerous artistes today in the Uganda music industry that are baseless, they don’t belong to any genre or class of music, and it’s too bad.
For example Michael Jackson was tagged the king of pop music world wide, Bob Marley the king of Reggae, Madonna the queen of pop.
Don’t be a jack of all trades and master of none.
Follow the trending songs & carve out your own
Always consider the people’s choice, when composing a song in today’s society because, that is what people want to hear.
In composing your song irrespective of the style of music always consider what’s trending.
For example, if what’s trending now is Nigerian music (beats) and you compose Lingala or kadongo kamu, it might just end up in your ears alone.
So many artistes make this GRAVE mistake, every time they record a new song and it’s affecting their career.
The worst thing is that many are still ignorant about this. No matter how good you are as a recording artiste, if you meet the wrong producers, you will end up with a bad song, a song that is noisy, whack and unacceptable to the public.
Most of the super stars you know today in Uganda are not good singers but because they work with good producers they are ahead of their colleagues in the same industry who have better voices.
Swanz Avenue and Fenon records can help you in this area.
So many people thinks that language is not a barrier when it comes to making songs in Uganda today.
The truth is that, if your song is only understood by a particular ethnic group, then you should expect less results.
Finally, we all know what sells the most in Uganda music today, is topics about sex, love, money and women.
Since we are talking about marketable songs, it doesn’t matter how you go about the arrangement but if this is what the market needs and you have to live by it.
Dixon Bond Okello, the author, is a music critic and an events security guru.