Welcome to an exclusive interview, where we dive deep into the world of the talented and versatile artist, Bash Luks. In this captivating conversation, led by the renowned Michael Wandati, we explore the extraordinary musical journey that has defined Bash Luks’ career.
From his earliest influences to the inception of Lot Fire Records, Bash Luks takes us on a journey through the intricate layers of his creative process. Get ready to immerse yourself in the unique blend of sounds that shape his artistry. Whether you’re a dedicated music enthusiast, an aspiring artist, or simply curious about the magic that goes into creating music, this interview promises to be an engaging and inspiring experience.
Join us as we embark on this melodic odyssey with Bash Luks and uncover the passion, dedication, and creativity that propel this remarkable artist forward. Get ready to explore his insights, relive his experiences, and discover his aspirations in this exclusive interview, only on the Kampala Dispatch.
KD: For those who are not familiar with you, who is Bash Luks? Tell us a brief background about yourself and who inspired you to take on the music career?
I am Bashir Lukonge, professionally known as Bash Luks, an artist from Kampala, Uganda, skilled in various creative fields such as singing, songwriting, acting, writing, and music production. I am also the visionary behind Lot Fire Records, a prominent Ugandan record label.
I was born on May 11, 1993, at Mulago Hospital in Uganda to Mr. Isima Matovu and Ms. Rosemary Nannyonga. My educational journey started at Butega Church of Uganda Primary School, followed by studies at St. Joseph’s Secondary School Busega and St. Matia Mulumba Secondary School in Kassanda District.
My artistic inspiration comes from a wide range of influential figures in the music industry, including Madoxx Ssemanda Sematimba, Eddy Kenzo, Bebe Cool, Jose Chameleon, Bobi Wine, and the late Mowzey Radio, among others. These artists have profoundly impacted my artistic vision and journey.
KD: How would you describe your music to people who are just getting familiar with you?
I specialize in a diverse range of music genres, including Afrobeat, Popular Music, RnB, Afropop, and Dancehall, with notable influences from elements of Reggae as well. The songs that I was exposed to during my formative years have played a pivotal role in shaping my musical inclinations and preferences.
KD: Who are some of the artists you have collaborated with and who are you currently working with?
I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with the talented Ugandan musician, Jim Siizer, allowing me to explore new musical styles. Currently, I’m excited about my ongoing collaboration with emerging artist Shaxx Mc, promising a dynamic fusion of R&B, Pop, and alternative sounds that will push artistic boundaries.
As an artist, I continually seek opportunities to collaborate with renowned musicians who inspire and challenge me creatively, with more exciting collaborations on the horizon. Stay tuned for updates!
KD: Who produces your music and how many songs/albums do you have to your name so far?
I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with BX On Da Beat, a highly respected producer in the music industry affiliated with Axtra Nation.
In my impressive discography, one standout studio album is titled ‘The Last Born,’ which was released on March 2, 2023. This album showcases captivating instrumental tracks like; “Drum” (Feat. African Tribal Orchestra & Lot Fire Records) and “Love” (Feat. Samie & Lot Fire Records). Thanks to its remarkable composition and artistic expression, ‘The Last Born‘ is anticipated to be one of the most captivating instrumental albums of the year. In addition to this remarkable album, I’ve also released numerous other songs, with a total of over nine tracks spanning across my albums and singles.
KD: Please explain your creative process
As a musician and songwriter, my creative process is a well-defined series of steps that enable me to craft original and engaging content. It all begins with the gathering of inspiration from various sources, including personal experiences, emotions, and external influences like nature or art. This initial step lays the foundation for my creative ideas.
Subsequently, I dedicate time to experimenting with different musical elements, including melodies, harmonies, rhythms, and lyrics. This experimentation phase is where I explore various combinations and arrangements, always in search of a unique and captivating sound. During this stage, I trust my intuition and rely on my musical instincts to let the creative flow take its course.
Once a solid musical concept takes shape, my focus shifts to its development. This involves refining the structure, dynamics, and instrumentation, while carefully considering how each element contributes to the overall mood and message of the piece. Collaboration with other musicians or producers often comes into play, bringing fresh perspectives and enhancing the creative process.
Following the creation of a draft, I step back and engage in a critical evaluation of the composition. This critical listening phase allows me to identify areas for improvement and fine-tuning. I analyze the pacing, transitions, and overall coherence of the piece, remaining open to making changes and adjustments to ensure that the final product aligns with my artistic vision.
Finally, the composition comes to life through performance or recording. This stage involves rigorous rehearsals, practice sessions, and the capturing of the music’s essence. Whether I am performing live on stage or recording in a studio setting, my goal is to deliver a captivating and authentic rendition of my creative work.
In summary, my creative process as a musician is a dynamic journey that encompasses inspiration, experimentation, refinement, and performance. It allows me to express my unique musical voice while forging meaningful connections with audiences on a profound level.
KD: Who handles your daily business activities like bookings, promotions etc?
Within the scope of my daily business operations, tasks like bookings and promotions are efficiently managed by a dedicated professional team at Lot Fire Records. This team plays a crucial role in overseeing my professional affairs, working collectively to maintain a well-organized schedule, secure performance opportunities, and effectively promote my music to a wider and more diverse audience.
KD: What do you find to be the most challenging part of being an up-and-coming musician in Uganda?
As an emerging artist, my primary challenge revolves around effectively promoting my work. Nevertheless, I am steadily surmounting this obstacle by proactively taking measures to self-promote, with valuable support from Lot Fire Records.
KD: What would you change about the music industry in Uganda?
As an emerging artist in Uganda, I would focus on the following improvements for the music industry:
- Support for emerging artists: I would Advocate for increased support, mentorship, and funding for up-and-coming musicians.
- Fair compensation: I would establish fair payment and royalty structures to incentivize creativity.
- Copyright protection: I would strengthen and enforce copyright laws to protect artists’ intellectual property.
- Accessible distribution: I would develop user-friendly music distribution platforms for wider reach.
- Professional development: I would offer workshops and networking opportunities for skill enhancement.
- Collaboration: I would encourage unity and collaboration among artists for collective growth.
These changes aim to create a thriving and supportive music industry in Uganda, benefiting artists and showcasing the country’s musical talent.
KD: When was your big career breakthrough?
In 2022, my career made a significant stride with the release of my debut track, “Nkubwamu” (Feat. Jim Siizer), produced in collaboration with Lot Fire Records. Throughout my musical journey, I’ve become known for crafting uplifting and socially conscious compositions that inspire and advocate for important causes.
KD: What is your dream project?
My aspiration is to become a recognized artist and music executive. I have several exciting projects in progress, including my singles ‘Nkubwamu‘ featuring Jim Siizer and ‘Magical,’ also featuring Jim Siizer, available in both audio and visual formats. You can find them on my Official Artist YouTube Channel and various other social media platforms.
KD: What’s the coolest promotion you’ve ever been involved with?
I’ve been part of some remarkable promotions in my career, but one stands out as particularly exceptional. It occurred during a music festival where I was performing. The organizers collaborated with a renowned fashion brand to create an immersive “Style Lounge” where attendees could enjoy live music and engage in fashion-related activities.
A highlight was our unique collaboration between myself and the brand, resulting in limited edition merchandise inspired by my music and style, exclusively available at the Style Lounge. The promotion featured interactive installations allowing attendees to try on virtual outfits using augmented reality, combining music, fashion, and technology to create an unforgettable experience.
This promotion not only showcased my talent but also connected with fans who shared a passion for music and fashion. It was a thrilling fusion of art forms, leaving a lasting impact.
KD: What else fascinates you besides music?
I’m drawn to writing books for several compelling reasons. It offers a platform to channel creativity, express thoughts coherently, and share knowledge. Through books, I aim to positively influence a broad readership. Additionally, the intellectual stimulation and personal fulfillment derived from researching and crafting a book are immensely gratifying. In essence, my passion for storytelling, connecting with readers, and a deep appreciation for the written word drive my interest in writing books.
KD: What’s one thing that would surprise many people to learn about Bash Luks?
I’m entirely self-taught in singing, which sets me apart from many artists. Instead of formal vocal training, I’ve dedicated countless hours to studying and emulating my favorite artists, developing my unique style through trial and error. I believe that raw talent and unwavering dedication can be as impactful as formal training, making my journey as a self-taught singer challenging yet incredibly rewarding. It has allowed me to discover my true potential and express myself authentically through music.
KD: What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your music career?
Passion is the constant driving force throughout my music career. It ignites my creativity, fuels my dedication, and motivates continuous improvement. It inspires me to explore new genres and connect deeply with my audience through emotionally resonant performances. Regardless of industry changes or challenges, my unwavering passion keeps me on this unpredictable journey.
KD: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Uganda’s most widely known musician and music executive, with a big number of fans, skyrocketed to fame with hit songs that go viral on YouTube and other social media platforms, accumulating millions of views. My illustrious career marked by winning numerous prestigious awards, including a Grammy Award, BET Award, MAMA Award, Billboard Music Award, All African Music Awards, MTV Music Video Award and a plethora of other esteemed accolades.
KD: Does Bash Luks have any advice for up-and-coming artists out there?
As an artist, my advice to young musicians is this: Stay true to your unique voice and embrace your individuality, don’t fear taking risks and exploring different genres, persevere and stay dedicated in the face of industry challenges, prioritize growth and improvement through regular practice, surround yourself with inspiring peers, be open to feedback and use it as a chance for growth, stay humble, keep learning, and never lose your passion for music.
With dedication and belief in yourself, you can achieve your dreams in the music industry. Embrace challenges, be true to yourself, and let your passion guide you to success.
KD: “Local, local, local” has always been radio, television and print mantle, how do you rate Uganda’s media involvement in promoting artistic local content?
Uganda’s media plays a vital role in promoting local artistic content. Radio stations, television channels, print media, and social platforms have embraced the “local” mantra, offering artists valuable exposure.
Radio stations frequently feature local music, conduct artist interviews, and organize live performances. Television showcases Ugandan talent in various creative forms, preserving cultural heritage. Print media covers local artists and their achievements. Social media enables direct artist-fan engagement.
While Uganda’s media has made commendable efforts, there’s room for improvement. Continued collaboration between media outlets and artists can enhance visibility nationally and internationally. Embracing the “local” mindset and supporting homegrown talent across different mediums will further promote Uganda’s vibrant creative landscape.
KD: What would your friends say they appreciate the most about Bash Luks?
My friends often highlight that Bash Luks’ uniqueness extends beyond his music. It’s his sincere concern for both friends and fans that sets him apart. He takes time to personally connect with them and wholeheartedly values their support. This genuine gratitude and humble demeanor resonate with people, making them feel genuinely valued and appreciated.
KD: Where do you find your inspiration for song ideas?
As a professional musician and songwriter, Bash Luks draw inspiration from diverse sources. I seek creativity in personal experiences, observations, and various art forms. Other musicians, past and present, also inspire my work. My aim is to craft original and meaningful songs that connect with listeners.
KD: What do you find to be the most challenging part of being an up-and-coming musician?
As an emerging artist, my primary challenge is promotion, but I’m addressing it proactively.
KD: How do you think Ugandan up-and-coming musicians can be supported in the industry?
Support for up-and-coming Ugandan musicians can be provided through:
- Financial support: Grants, scholarships, and sponsorships to cover music-related expenses.
- Training and education: Workshops, mentorship, and educational programs.
- Access to studios: Affordable access to recording studios and production resources.
- Promotion and exposure: Radio airplay, streaming platforms, live performances, and industry events.
- Networking: Connecting musicians with industry professionals for collaboration and mentorship.
- Copyright protection: Education on copyright laws and royalty collection.
- Infrastructure development: Investment in music venues, rehearsal spaces, and music schools to foster talent growth.
These measures create a supportive environment for emerging Ugandan musicians to thrive and contribute to the country’s music scene.
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KD: Recently, there have been a music battle between Sheebah Karungi and Cinderella Sanyu alias Cindy, as who was the winner of the battle, the debate still rages on — what is your take on this? Are Music battles worth it for the industry? If you were challenged in such a music battle, what would you say?
I agree with my fellow musician, Big Tril. The Cindy and Sheebah battle may soon fade from memory, but a collaboration between them could make a lasting impact and transform the music industry. Let’s shift our focus back to what truly matters: the music.
KD: What is your view about musicians joining politics? Well established musicians are currently turning away from music to politics. Do you think the music industry can stand without the likes of these stars? Do you want to emulate a similar trend?
Musicians entering politics can be a positive way to leverage their influence for change, but it requires genuine passion and understanding of the issues. While established musicians may shift to politics, the music industry remains resilient and dynamic, with emerging talents. Music’s power transcends individual stars, ensuring the industry’s continued growth. Whether Bash Luks follow a similar path depends on my genuine interest in politics and belief in its potential for meaningful impact. Any foray into politics should stem from sincere conviction, not opportunism.
KD: What advice would you give to female artists wanting to pursue or currently pursuing a career music? Do you think it’s easy for up-and-coming female artists to succeed in the industry than their male counterparts? And why?
My valuable advice for female artists in music: Believe in yourself and embrace your uniqueness, network, collaborate, and engage with industry professionals. Continuously improve your musical skills and versatility, develop a strong personal brand for recognition, utilize social media and online platforms strategically and seek mentorship from experienced individuals in the industry.
Success for female artists varies, with challenges like gender bias and unequal opportunities. However, talent and determination are key, and the industry is evolving with more support for female artists. Persistence, mutual support, and advocating for equal opportunities are crucial for female artists to succeed.
KD: There is nothing wrong with positivity especially in today’s day and age. Apart from yourself, is there any fast-growing upcoming Ugandan music artist that you recommend we keep an eye out for?
Jim Siizer is an up-and-coming Ugandan musical artist known for hits like “Okikola Otya” and “Kweyagala.” His music is gaining global popularity, and he’s known for his unique style and captivating stage presence. With a growing fan base, Jim Siizer is poised for a successful career and has the potential to become a prominent name in the music industry.
KD: Regarding your music, you’ve put out a few singles, would you say there is a particular focal point? Is there any certain sound or topic that you are trying to get across, or you are still trying to develop your sound?
As an artist, I’m currently in the process of developing my sound and experimenting with various genres and themes. While there isn’t a specific focal point in my music just yet, each single I release represents a different facet of my musical journey, allowing me to explore various emotions and perspectives. I believe in embracing the creative process and allowing my sound to evolve naturally, which enables me to continually grow as an artist and connect with listeners on a deeper level. Each release contributes to the overall development of my unique musical identity.
KD: What are the new songs that the fans should anticipate you to perform?
I’m currently working on exciting new projects that I can’t wait to share with my fans. I’m particularly thrilled about performing my singles ‘Nkubwamu‘ and ‘Magical‘ featuring Jim Siizer. These songs have the potential to deeply connect with my audience and leave a lasting impact.
KD: Are you a fan of social media? Does it play a role in your daily life, or is it more or less just for marketing purposes?
Social media has become a vital part of our daily lives, impacting communication, connection, and information sharing. It serves as a platform for staying connected, discovering interests, and accessing news globally. Beyond music marketing, social media has transformed how businesses engage with consumers, enabling personalized advertising. Its influence is pervasive, touching various aspects of modern life.
KD: Is there anything else you would like to share with your fans?
I want to express my deep gratitude to all my fans for your unwavering support. Your love for my music fuels my creativity and motivates me to push boundaries. Your passion for music creates an unbreakable bond between us, and I promise to continue creating music that speaks to your soul. Thank you for being there every step of the way, and let’s keep chasing our dreams together through the power of sound.
Here are social media profiles and links to Bash Luks work;
3. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iambashluks
4. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iambashluks