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By Ahmad Muto
Artiste and events promoter Tshaka Mayanja has argued that there is no single country in Africa where the local music industry received support from local companies like Uganda’s. However, the industry failing to measure up to other countries like Nigeria is solely because of the artistes.
“There is no market in Africa that has put money in music like Ugandan companies. I know that. Only South Africa might compete. Breweries, telecoms, everybody has contributed and its only in music that they been investing, right from 1999,” he said.
He heaped part of the blame on record labels claiming not all sign artistes to foster the growth of their talent and brand, but as a strategy to frustrate them as they make way for their flagship artistes. He added that that labels are like mafia cartels with the politics involved.
“Some record labels sign artistes to kill their talent. Once they realise you might become a competition for their artiste that they want in that space, they sign you on contract to contain you. And give you advance money. They have done it in other countries. Sign and shelve you as an investment. And keep promoting their own while you stay out for five years,” he explained.
Tshaka then dismissed the position of record labels in the career of artistes arguing that they are not necessary in this age with all the developments in every facet of the industry, courtesy of technology. “In this generation, no artiste needs a record label. Not in this age. Record and publish your music. Get all the money. Decide when to release,” he stated.
Speaking to The Kampala Sun in 2017, rapper Keko who had just left Sony Music Africa said they shelved her for five years always pushing her album release forward until she decided to quit the label.

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