By Ahmad Muto
Dancehall singer A Pass has always preached to fellow artistes to divorce the idea of depending on stage performances as the only source of income.
He got louder after the COVID-19-induced lockdown that kept artistes off the stage for close to two years.
Now A Pass desires to emulate American artistes that have also become successful entrepreneurs far outside the music industry.
Via a tweet, he wrote: “I aspire to be like 50 Cent, Rihanna, Kanye West, and Jay Z, to be able to transition into business that is not related to music, but still do the music.”
A Pass was triggered by media personality J Kazoora, who argued, during his show on a local TV station, that A Pass is able to make a ‘fantastic album’, but fail to deliver live on stage after all the time writing and producing.
A Pass responded to Kazoora with a video of himself on stage putting up a performance with a live band and the caption: “I think he is doing well on stage.”
Video Jockey VJ Jingo defended A Pass, arguing that perhaps he chose to perform less and produce “more seraphic and cherubic type of music which no other musician in Uganda is doing.”
He also invoked American singer Harry Nilsson, who never performed publicly, but was commercially successful and even won a Grammy.
He challenged Kazoora on whether he would prefer an artiste who can still achieve success minus the stage or one who needs the stage to survive.
A Pass’ idols have successful brands to their names that are not music related. 50 Cent has tried his hands at clothing, Vitamin water, liquor and spirits, books, boxing promotions, video games, movies and television.
Besides music, Rihanna has done film and owns a multi-million dollar beauty product brand, Fenty Beauty.
Kanye West has tried his hands at restaurant business (Fatburger), music streaming (Tidal), Fashion (Yeezy footwear).
Jay Z has invested in music (Roc Nation), clothing (Rocawear), Sports agency (Roc Nation Sports) and nightclubs (40/40 Club (s)).