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Our music is not for free, musicians respond to filmmakers

by Editorial Team
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By Hussein Kiganda

On Monday, July 4, filmmaker Richard Mulindwa, who made the movies Contention, What If, Mistakes Gals Do, and several more, claimed that some musicians in Uganda do not want their music to feature in movies.

He advised them to give filmmakers their songs for free, arguing that it’s a promotion strategy that would help their songs to become popular.

Well, musicians have rejected Mulindwa’s idea, citing exploitation from the filmmakers.

Talking to The Kampala Sun, Mesach Semakula said the talk about promotion no longer suffices because they (musicians) want to make money out of their songs.

Richard Mulindwa

“A musician eats off his music because it’s his business. Artistes used to eat off shows, but they are no longer profitable, so now they are looking for other avenues where they can get loyalties. About promotion, no! I do not agree with it. By the time you chose my song to feature in your movie, it means it’s already promoted,” he said.

Mesach advised that if filmmakers want musicians to give in their music, they should have negotiations that benefit both sides.

“Like elsewhere, musicians negotiate with filmmakers for their songs to be used, why not here? If you are going to use my song to make money, then come to me and we bargain,” he stated.

Singer A Pass (real name Alexander Bagonza) thinks it’s okay to give filmmakers songs for free, citing his own example.

He confessed that he has given several songs to filmmakers for free to support Uganda. He also said the offer of promotion from filmmakers is not a big deal.

“You could want people to give you their songs and you think you are promoting them, but they don’t want that kind of promotion. I believe musicians have a right to look at their work and say I want to do this or that. Personally, I have had a couple of some movies I have had my songs in for free and these are Ugandan people making money. I look at what they are doing and I just support them,” he said.

For Karole Kasita, a dancehall artiste, promotion is key, but she still insists that the issue of money cannot be sidelined.

“I think that the use of our music by filmmakers would be a great promotional strategy if there is money attached to it. I have been contacted before, but negotiations always go the other way. Maybe someday we shall conclude with one,” she said.

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