Ugandan musician Michael Ross performed in Rwanda recently. The musician was interviewed by Julius Bizimungu about his impression of the music industry in Rwanda among other issues.
Briefly, how would you describe yourself?
Honestly it’s not easy to describe yourself except for the people who are around you. I believe only people who know me and are always around me can do it well. I would simply say that I am humble, loyal, honest, smart, loving person.
This is the second time you are coming to Rwanda this year, is there something that we should know?
The first time I performed at Kaizen club and shot a video for my Kinyarwanda song ‘Ndakwikundira’. I came back this time to perform my new songs for my fans and officially show them my new video- ‘Gimmie a chance’. I am also here to shoot a music video with fellow artiste Man Martin. I’ve had so much fun entertaining my fans in Kigali. Every time I come to Rwanda, people show me how much they love me and I really appreciate that.
You have had your peak times and the low times, what keeps you going?
I have been privileged to be in this industry for over 13 years and though I have faced many challenges, I enjoy the fact that I am still here (in the music industry) and people still love my songs. The most encouraging part is when you perform and receive positive feedback from people all over social networks requesting for more new music. It definitely makes you go forward.
How would you describe the Rwandan music industry as compared to Uganda’s and the rest of the region?
Rwandan music industry has got serious potential. I’ve had a chance to listen to Rwandan musicians like The Ben, Meddy, Urban Boys, Man Martin and Two4Real, among others, and I realized that they can do much better. However, the industry is still young; you can’t compare it to the countries which have been at this for 30years or more.
The only difference is that Rwandans stick to their heritage, if they can at least create their own kind of sound-music which is unique, use the international language to communicate to the international audience, I am sure that they’ll be able to compete on the global scene.
Finally, Rwandans should learn how to market and sell their music beyond the borders. That’s how you get recognition.
To what extent do you think the government and the rest of the institutions should invest in the music industry?
First of all, music is a creative industry which is vibrant, which can contribute to the economy, and is really powerful in a sense that it can influence peace, love and others. The government should particularly look at how other countries like the United States, South Africa and Nigeria are helping their artistes and support and invest in the industry.
Your last message to the upcoming artistes?
All I can say is; come when you are ready for anything. If that’s your passion, your dream, pursue it. Believe in yourself because there is always room for success for hardworking people.