When David Lutalo started doing music, many categorized him among the Kadongo Kamu stars. Along the way, the artiste started breaking away and embracing the ‘pop’ kind of music, which has seen him breakout and attract a wider and more youthful audience. Before he celebrated 10 years yesterday at his Wololo concert, the artiste shared bits of his journey and future with Sqoop.
You were on Bebe Cool’s list that caused havoc in the entertainment industry. Do you think you deserved to be there?
There is no way I could miss on any list, even if it was you guys who made that list. Every one planning to make a list, the first name on their minds is David Lutalo.
Why do you make such statements?
Because I had extraordinary hits.
Okay, can you make for us your list of the top five artistes you think did well last year?
I do not make lists. I only concentrate on myself. Those who have not done well should check themselves and work hard next time.
David Lutalo has been in the industry for 10 years. What do you attribute your success to?
I would attribute my success to the Almighty God. I cannot say I am that bright to still be relevant but God has been leading my way.
You changed your style of music along the way. Was that a decision by your management?
I projected the future and knew that music fades away after a certain time. I decided to rebrand and make sure my music cuts across. That aside, I was at the right age to rebrand; not young and not so old.
Who do you prefer? The old Lutalo or the rebranded one?
The recent one is bad (sic). He does music with Nigerians, shoots videos in South Africa but back then, it was basically a hustle.
How do you fit in with those collaborations especially Mile with Solidstar? Because you do different music, different styles and come from different backgrounds?
What comes first is the talent. I knew what he was capable of and he knew me. We matched and that is why everything was perfect.
How do you define talent?
Talent in the music industry is the act of crafting something and making other people love it. Being vocally good and having nice lyrics is an advantage.
How did you two meet?
I cannot tell you the details but just know we did the project. I know it was abrupt because up to now some people do not believe I worked with Solidstar.
Nigerians have a tendency of doing collaborations with East African artistes but do not push the songs in their countries. What do you have to say about that?
Personally, I do not jump on every collabo. Someone first has to hear my songs so that they get inspired to work with me. So far, Soldstar is pushing the song. It is on his Instagram and other social media platforms.
Uganda has very many talented musicians but why do you think we have failed to cut across to the Western world?
We still have a lot to do. Other countries have enough equipment yet we as Ugandans have to travel to other countries for quality work. Going international needs a lot of investment and when you happen to go there by chance, then maintenance becomes the problem. Then, there is a lot of criticism back home.
Why do all your concerts happen in January when people are broke?
I have loyal fans. There is a saying in Luganda “You can never say a place is far when you have a loved one that side”. My fans are loyal and will never complain about being broke or something but they will do everything to come for my concert.
Why are you going to Cricket Oval?
I have been putting my concerts at Hotel Africana but it was banned from hosting concerts so it pushed me to look for another venue. Following the fact that my fanbase has grown and the number of people that have been attending my concerts was overwhelming, I decided to look for a bigger venue. If the same happens over the years, God willing, we shall move to Namboole Stadium.
Why not call the concert something like ‘10 years of David Lutalo’ instead of Wololo?
I think I am not going to stop singing at 10 years so I would not want to name the concert 10 years or something. I want to name it with a song. Do you want to imply that the next concert should also be named 11 years of Lutalo or something?
Recently you said you and your wife had separated. Was it a stunt to sell your show?
I am too cool for stunts. It was true, my wife and I are no longer staying together but I get the chance to see my son. I am currently dating someone else but I would not want to mention her in the media.
We see, most of your recent videos are all shot abroad. How do you benefit as an artiste after shooting an expensive video?
Something that artistes do not understand is respect and thinking about the fans. When you hold a concert and fans come in big numbers, why cheat yourself? You have to invest in your music by coming up with more quality work and that is how they will continue supporting you.
One artiste once said shooting an expensive video does not bring back profits yet you are booked to perform cheaply, what do you have to say about that?
There are two different types of artistes. There are artistes who are in music for business and others for passion. The ones who are in for business are the ones who are always about getting money. Others like David Lutalo are in music because they like doing music and that is the reason they come out with good music and at the end of the day, you will find good music being paid highly.
Where do we see David Lutalo in another 10 years to come?
In another 10 years, I do not see myself holding concerts, running up and down to take my songs to stations, doing media interviews and all those things artistes go through. I want to be a mentor and guide young artistes in the music industry and on top of that, I want to start a music school.
Someone might not know where I grew up from but will always laugh at me whenever I speak English which is not the case with Nigerians. They support each other and that is how they have managed to be on top. I would rather someone advises me than criticise and that is how the industry will be taken forward.