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INTERVIEW: “Music for me is an innate gift” – Hudson opens up after a successful maiden show ‘Kampala Muwambe’

Three weeks ago on Friday 22nd November, Hudson, the man with a serenading voice organized a listeners’ party to engage his fans on his latest single “Kampala Muwambe”.

Hudson Mutumba who is commonly known as Hudson Hunx Ug announced his social media platforms after several devout fans replied in the affirmative to turn up if he organized the event.

His stats went spiralling with the majority of his fans vowing to be in attendance if the show was organized. Some of these enthusiasts asked where they could find access to tickets. This according to Hudson inspired planning.

“Kampala Muwambe is a love song with an RnB feel in both English and Luganda language command. The song speaks of a girl called Kampala, who is being pursued by a man that boldly confesses his feelings for her. Even though he worries that she may be taken away from him, she decides to stay because it is he who has her heart,” says the singer.

He was initially sceptic about meeting with us, however, he finally agreed to have a chat on all things surrounding his music career and life plans.

Who is Hudson Mutumba or Hudson Hunx Ug?

That is the same person. Hudson Mutumba is my birth name, while Hudson Hunx Ug is my stage name. I adopted this while back and has since stuck with me along this journey. Hudson is a musician, audio producer, sound engineer and art creator. “My personality features friendliness, calmness, gentleness, kindness and the aspect of the family”, he adds.

What do you pursue?

I pursue music fulltime and would like to affiliate with Sony music someday. I equally have a great inkling for marriage and family life. Those for me stand out as a purpose

Who inspired your musical journey?

No one inspired my musical journey. Music for me is an innate gift. I loved music even before I thought to pursue it fulltime. Every person has a clear definition of who they were created to be and while they intently grow in their art, they get to learn something new.

“When you love something, you become passionate about it to the point that you start to pick inspiration along the way on how to become better” says the singer.

How can you describe the musical journey so far?

The journey has been two-edged so far; not so good, and not so bad either. I have learned that everyone has their day. Thankfully, I have met people that have helped build me and that explains the product/kind of music that I produce.

When did you find out that music was something you should give your energies?

This was around 2012. However, it did not happen to me like magic. I already knew that I could sing. As a parent, you should be able to tell the things your child loves through the activities they participate in both indoors and outdoors. Unlike my friends who always jumped at the sports day announcements, the announcement about MDD always excited every bone inside me.

Besides school activities, I joined Rated Next season 1 in 2013. I was eliminated at top 20. In that season, some of the participants were Kenneth Mugabi, Daniel Kaweesi, Rebecca Nanziri etc. I tried once more the following year in season 2, this time I was eliminated at top 6. Even though it didn’t contribute much, it was for me a sign of greatness. It showed the level of improvement I had gotten to.

What does your music focus on?

My music focuses on the Gospel and Love.

Interesting, why the gospel. Did you start out singing in church?

Yes, the church offered me my first platform to nurture the gift of singing and performing. Along with the talent came confidence, and that is how I ventured into singing gospel music. However, I have learned over time that the gospel industry in Uganda does not consider the fact that musicians invest time and money to make the most revered gospel tunes.

Many people still approach gospel musicians on the facet of offering platforms of exposure as a form of payment. They tend to forget the scripture in Proverbs 18:16 that says “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men”.

People in the gospel industry do not celebrate talent or gifting. They holla at you to come minister and let you walk away with nothing or just a 20,000/ as transport refund.

My first album is a gospel album, however, there are no returns from it. So I decided to use my talent to minister in the church because then I know I am part of active ministry.

So when did you decide to focus on love?

Currently, my focus is on love. My mandate is to spread love through my music. I sing for people in relationships, those nursing heartbreaks. I have love songs like So real, African Girl, Mwoli, Fine, my favourite- Kampala Muwambe, and many more.

Was the music industry lacking in artistes singing on love?

No. The industry does not lack artists that sing love songs. It is just that everyone is looking for a hit song so they tend to lose the message. Love is a message, and how it is conveyed should be important for anyone that decides to sing about it.

As a person that has collected knowledge from musical legends, music should not be about money or one-time fame—Music should heal, and outlive you. It should go into the future. Music that outlives you always has a compelling message.

Why did it take you 6 years to organize your first Listeners’ party?

Working with people has taught me that you don’t wake up and take on a bigger exploit without considering the stages of growth that you need as an artist. Everything takes time, especially greatness. Organizing Kampala Muwambe listeners’ party was to test my standing as a musician.

“Having over 150 people in attendance for my maiden show was a good start but not a win. It showed me what I should focus on in future” — said the beaming musician.

Tell us about Kampala Muwambe

It was a good show. I give all the Glory to God. I printed out 100 tickets going for Ugx. 20,000. For any artist organizing their maiden show, that amount is unrealistic, however, I inwardly knew I was not going to organize a show worth Shs. 5,000. It was an “if I die, I die moment”. The turn up was impressive for my first show. I had more than 150 people in the audience.

Any lessons you took from the listener’s party?

Yes, plenty. The first being that there are people that believe in you and are waiting for your big breakthrough. The second lesson is that because we harbour fears and insecurities, we deny the world to be witnesses of our greatness.

How did you build your fan base?

My music has built my fan base. The following I have is because I focus on doing good music. No one can deny the power of good music because it speaks for itself, and draws people to it. When people come across good music, they market it for you.

I currently do not have radio or television airplay because I have not explored the channels of PR, and have not shot videos for my music. It is the people that have come across my music on the internet, curated it as good, and shared it.

What is the future like for Hudson?

The future is great. The start always determines different aspects of the future. My next concentration is going to be pushing this music far and wide. Currently, I have people questioning me on why they did not know about the listener’s party even after several posts went out on social media and also by word of mouth. I, therefore, intend to host a much bigger party unveiling Kampala Muwambe next year.

Any artistes you dream of working with?

Burna Boy and Sauti Sol pique my interests. Their music and art altogether inspire me along this journey.

Do you plan on releasing an album for all your music?

I have a gospel album, and I intend to release my love album that features 7 songs very soon. Look out for that announcement.

What advice would you give a young person struggling with an idea because clearly, organizing your listener’s party was a risk?

You can call it a risk, however, for me, it was based on the confidence I have about my destiny. There is the ease with great things.

My advice to young people is that they should weigh their ideas on scales of worthy versus market fit. Just because you have an idea, doesn’t mean you wake up the next day and reveal it.

Secondly, you need to know that dreams are not to be struggled for. When the time for your dream to explode comes, you feel it. For Kampala Muwambe, my investment did not go beyond Ugx. 400,000.

Likewise for your dream, be like a chef. No one knows how much spice or preparation time goes into a signature meal, all they see is a tasty meal after a given period. Be a chef with your ideas— Cook, and allow for time to determine when you are ready.

Thirdly, you need to be 70% confident that your idea is going to work. It is always about time.

Lastly, always have a plan, don’t be in a rush to get your idea out there. Initially, my show was supposed to happen on 5th October, however, I postponed it because I had no proper execution plan in place plus the fact that I was struggling to get it together only proved that it was not the right time. The struggle should show you that the timing is not right.

Finally, Opportunity is about time and readiness. Equip yourself for when an opportunity comes. Every day is a chance for you to get better with your idea. It is also important to know that you can not miss your time if it is your time, if you miss it, then it is not your time yet.

What are some of the things you think young people today take for granted?

Spirituality. This doesn’t mean being in church. Spirituality is the nature of every human being. What your inner person says, feels or urges you to do. When Jesus left the earth, he left us the Holy Spirit who is part of every person.

Every person has an inner battle and this is usually with the Spirit because His role is to direct us in all our ways. The Holy Spirit is our operating system. Most times people take that for granted, and yet the Spirit was given to us for free.

People also tend to despise friendships, especially after a hit song. However, friendships are what we need as artistes because they add to our network and support. I wouldn’t have had a successful listeners’ party had it not been for the friends I have made over time.

What impact or legacy would you like to be known for?

I have inspired many people. To be honest, so many lives were touched by the Kampala Muwambe Listeners’ party. The question, however, seems to insinuate that impact and legacy happen after someone passes on, even before that time comes, my goal is that everyone that attends any of my shows leaves knowing that “Dreams come true”. I will continue to do good music and people will pick inspiration from it.

How long are you chasing your dreams for?

I want to achieve my goals in 5 years. If this should stretch on, the most it should go up to is until I am 35 years. I want to achieve young. Currently, Maddox Sematimba is lighter for this.

Does the Ugandan music industry need improvement?

No. It doesn’t because there is an authenticity about it. However, it would do better with leadership. Countries that are making it to the international scene have laws like copyright which isn’t the case in Uganda.

The music industry in Uganda focuses on esteems money over quality. Here when a person feels like going to the studio, they will and their song, however unprofessional it sounds will get airplay. In some countries, this music does not see the light of day beyond the studio.

Secondly, the media does not support Ugandan music, they play more foreign music and listeners both nationally and internationally then credit other countries.

What helps you get in a space of creativity?

The mood is important. You do not go to studio sad and expect to sing a jolly song. Music from the heart speaks more. Most of my love songs are dedications to the woman in my life. The moments then inspire my music. Also, I do not go to the studio without a song title, it helps give direction for what I am there to do.

As a man that sings love music, aren’t you a lady’s favourite?

Hahahaha ….. Women are easily drawn to love than men are. Yes, women love me because they relate with my love music. They believe I have so much love and would like to share in that love, however, I am married and the woman in my life is very beautiful both inwardly and outwardly.

What do you have planned out next now that Kampala Muwambe listeners’ party was a success?

The listener’s Party was a teaser. There will be a show next year for the album launch.

Who are some of the people you have worked with as a musician?

I have met too many people who are more experienced than the celebrated ones. Thankfully, I have been privileged to work with Maddox Sematimba, and Isaiah Katumwa.

Of all the songs that you have made, which one is your favourite? And why?

Kampala Muwambe is my favourite, it is a great song. I urge every artist to take a rest from creating. I created Kampala muwambe after such a long time of rest. It is an irresistible song and will make you fall in love.

Why do you encourage a period of rest from creating?

The mind is like RAM. When it is overused, its productivity is usually at low levels if not zero. We currently have artists who have a song out every week or every month, when you listen to those songs, you realize that the production is similar to their previous songs. This only means that both they and their producers are running low on creativity.

What would make you quit music?

I do not see that happening. I love music, with or without money, I can still create. In the first place, venturing into music was not about making money. Music gives me passion and pleasure, it challenges my creativity and expands my network. Money for me is motivation.

What are 3 things people don’t know about you?

I am Godly, I am a family man, and I love my woman with my entire heart.

What is your take on Uganda’s education system?

It is a dead system. Currently what scholars need is a skills-based education system. I know graduates whose degrees have not been of help. I honestly do not see this for my children.

Do you mentor Young people?

I do not mentor people directly. I inspire them with what I do. In the future, mentorship could be something that comes to me because of my path of life. People who knew you before your breakthrough are always inspired by the kind of level you get to in life.

Best food?

Pork

Best 5 songs?

Kampala Muwambe by yours truly
Kweke nathi
Lokua Kanza’s BIffe
African Star by Burna Boy and Sauti sol

What makes you outstanding?

Favour from God. I cannot begin to explain how God places me in the limelight. I never fail, and everything for me happens at the right time. Oftentimes, the things I do are very outstanding, I can’t trace my expertise as well.

What is your mantra?

“Always deliver over and above people’s expectations”.

The kind of music we do is commercial, that simply means it is paid. People do not want to pay you only for you to under-deliver. In America, people are paid according to their worth. In Uganda, we pay even without inspecting whether we will get a return on investment.

If you were not making music, what would you be doing?

I would be a pilot.

What do you think society is not doing enough for women?

We are starting to see a change in trends, however, women still look at themselves as the weaker team. Some do not want to work and assume they will be given money and taken care of to the very least detail. Compared to men, women are most appreciated and they need to start seeing that.

What is your advice to women?

As a wife, you need to submit
As a sister, advice your brother
As a mother, support a son

Segawa Salim
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