JOINING MUSIC: Veronica Nakiyingi Luggya is known to many as Vinka and the way she penetrated the music industry was somewhat controversial. But because she had been in the business before, she managed to manoeuvre her way around.
Where did you get the idea to start singing?
I was doing jingles and adverts at Swangz Avenue when Julius Kyazze told me to give music a shot but I was also studying Music, Dance and Drama. So after Julius brought me the idea, I thought about it and two years later, I decided to give it a shot.
But you joined Swangz as an artiste manager.
In my Senior Six vacation, I was a backup dancer for the late Sera who was signed to Swangz Avenue. I was also a backup dancer for Jackie Chandiru and I danced at Buzz gigs. It was from then that I was given the job of managing artistes at Swangz. I had to give up dancing to concentrate on my new job description.
Which artiste were you managing at Swangz?
I was managing Irene Ntale, Winnie Nwagi, Zulanda and Black Skin. I managed them for three years.
How do you think you contributed to their careers?I believe I contributed a lot to those artistes because I was real; I told them what was wrong and what was right, I appreciated and encouraged them on their performances and I would say it as it was.
It is believed, you switching from manager to artiste contributed to Irene leaving Swangz. How true is this?
It is not true. Before I became an artiste, Swangz had other artistes like Winnie, Black Skin, Zulanda and Joel. I stopped being her manager immediately after her concert and she knew that I was also going to start singing. She left because of her own reasons.
Are you friends?
To be honest, I am not friends with Irene anymore.
I do not know what happened but she just stopped talking to me and she was acting weird when we were shooting our Stylo video. We did not talk like we used to, and she did not push the video at all, not even on her social media. I have not even met her ever since the shoot. But I do not mind, afterall I contributed to her success.
Are you managing yourself?
You cannot handle being both. I have two people managing me.
Do you feel at some point that these guys are not doing as much as you did as a manager?
I think they are good and hands on. I told them in the beginning how I used to do things and whenever they need my help, I gladly offer it but that is on rare occasions.
Where did the name Vinka come from?
It comes from my name Veronica. I just got rid of some letters from my name. My birth name is Veronica Nakiyingi Luggya. For how long have you been doing music professionally?I started recording in September 2016 but I have been actively doing music for four months now.
What is your style of music?
I do dancehall, reggae and ragga.
Why that style?Compared to singing, I am a very good dancer, so I wanted to do music that would make me and the people dance.
Do you write your songs?
No. I am still young in the industry and I am still just learning.
What positives have you got out of music?
People appreciating and noticing me is really heartwarming. I also get to meet new people.
Do you think you will ever go back to being an artiste manager?No. I think I have found my path now. I have been there and seen it all.
Swangz Avenue has more than four artistes. Do you think you are treated fairly?
Actually, we are all treated equally. It is just that people outside do not know these things. There is a balance with each of us.
Do you come from a musical background?
No, but my aunt Jean Nakachwa is into drama, she acts with Bakayimbira Dramactors.
Vinka’s journey to the industry
I went to Rubaga Girls and Makerere University where I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism at the beginning of this year.
BALANCING WORK AND SCHOOL
It was not easy at all but I managed. I was attending evening classes from 7pm to 9pm but the days that really gave me a hard time were Fridays when the artistes had gigs. I would dodge classes but luckily, I graduated.
ARTISTE VS ARTISTE MANAGER
It is the artiste in the limelight while the manager is behind the scenes. An artiste manager does the bookings, runs up and down while the artiste only comes to perform. It is the manager who makes sure the song is on radio, video on TV while the artiste just goes to studio to record.
I am shy but when I get on stage, I get into character. Also I think we musicians lack solidarity in the industry. We need to work together, follow each other on social media. That is the only way our industry is going to grow.
I have four songs; Level, Stylo featuring Irene Ntale, In The Mood and Only Love You.
I like Cynthia Morgan, Tekno, Tiwa Savage and Rihanna.