A Pass criticizes decline in music quality on Ugandan radio and TV

A Pass criticizes decline in music quality on Ugandan radio and TV
Ugandan musician and songwriter Alexander Bagonza popularly known as A Pass.

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Ugandan musician and songwriter Alexander Bagonza, known by his stage name A Pass, has expressed deep concern over the current state of music played on radio and television stations.

The reggae and dancehall artist lamented that today’s media often airs content that prioritizes humor over quality. He noted that in the past, only well-crafted songs would make it to radio and TV stations, emphasizing that high standards have significantly declined.

“We need a bit of gatekeeping in the Ugandan music industry. Too much stupid music out here. Anything funny and stupid is now a song. What is the standard? Back then you had to have something good to be on the radio or TV but nowadays all you need is to be viral and boom,” wrote A Pass on his X (formerly Twitter) account on this matter.

The controversial musician suggested that for Ugandan music to compete globally, higher-quality music should be prioritized on radio and television. He highlighted the uncontrollable nature of online streaming but emphasized that traditional media should uphold strict standards.

A Pass’s concerns sparked significant discussion on social media, with one user, UG Patriot, commenting: “Gatekeeping is nearly impossible in this digital era and it seems to have continued like this for some good year.”

“How has Nigeria managed to keep the integrity of their music? Do you hear stupid music from their side? The majority is cream and the last time I checked, they are in a digital era,” said A Pass.

According to A Pass, ensuring that only the best songs are aired on radio and television would significantly enhance the music industry’s quality. He believes this approach would encourage musicians to improve their craft, as those with subpar material would be motivated to refine their work.

“But if you play the bad song, what precedent are you setting?,” he asked himself.

In recent years, many artists have gained breakthroughs and fame through viral songs on social media platforms like TikTok.

However, A Pass argues that fame is man-made and emphasizes the importance of quality music over fleeting viral success.

”It is very easy for an artist to have a moment, but it’s hard for them to have momentum because they don’t know how it happened. It all came out of the blue. And trust me, you can’t maintain what you can’t control, he said.

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“I am not in control of views, likes, and vitality but I am in control of making amazing songs with the best sound possible. I will never be bothered by low views. Some of the songs I love the most don’t have the most views but the feeling they give me can’t be measured,” A Pass added.

A Pass proudly stated that he is passionate about his craft and feels blessed to serve his audience with quality music. He affirmed his dedication to maintaining high standards in his work, regardless of current industry trends.

“My views on the industry are from a place of concern but I have little that I can do about it.I will play my part as I have always done,” he noted.