Hassan Mutesaasira, 28, a resident of Kisaasi, a city suburb, has always harbored a dream of singing and becoming a successful recording artist.
“I had written a few songs, which I only sang in Acappella to my friends and family because I could not afford the costs of recording them in a music studio,” Mutesaasira said.
The financial constraints almost saw his passion wane and his dream vanish into oblivion. His hope was, however, restored recently, when a friend informed him about the opportunity to record a song at a paltry sh10,000.
During this interview, Mutesaasira’s excitement was visible as he kept on beaming with smiles. Yesterday, he was one of over 100 upcoming artistes who attended the opening of a studio at Mengo, Rubaga Division, Kampala, courtesy of President Yoweri Museveni.
Funded by the President, the studio under Tomorrow Stars Foundation and located near Lubiri Secondary School in Mengo, aims at nurturing young talent in the music industry.
Although without definite statistics, the music and creative industry has been billed as one of the most lucrative trades in Uganda and globally, creating several millionaires and celebrities.
Tomorrow Stars Foundation project has various senior musicians, including Sophia Nantongo, Travis Kazibwe alias Dr. Tee and several music producers, who are expected to help the upcoming artists in training, mentorship and recording.
According to the chairperson of the project, singer Sam Mugagga, the idea was born out of the need to support the musical talents of those who cannot afford the high costs involved in recording music.
Mugagga said Museveni instantly bought the idea that was initiated in August 2018 and provided funds for the project. Mugagga said his team brought studio and events equipment from China and Dubai.
The studio premises turned into a hive of activity yesterday, with many upcoming artistes from different genres converging to receive guidelines and test their abilities. Some performed with their colleagues before they were attached to different facilitators.
Musician Sophia Nantongo said the first phase involves the assessment and preparation of the artists.
“We welcome everyone who loves music. Those who cannot sing will be trained and those who are already skilled will be prepared to record.”
According to Mugagga, every person, regardless of age and beliefs, is eligible to register and record their music.
“Only the abrasive characters are not allowed. The selection is not based on any political party. The artists that came out here today support different political parties,” he said, answering the question of political biases that may arise.
To record, an artist is required to pay sh10,000 and provide a passport size photo and a national ID.