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Lilly Kadima: Foregoing tourism for music

Lily Kadima

Passion drove Lily Kadima into dropping her professional calling in tourism for music. Today, Kadima boasts of songs such as Akuloga, Nazaala and Ighe Olinaki. Tomorrow she dares odds in a maiden concert at Jinja Sailing Club.

Who is Lily Kadima?
I’m a Ugandan singer, fusionist, and an entertainer.

What do you mean by a fusionist?
I blend my music with different styles; having started as a cover artiste, I experienced different genres of music, thus, I create a specific sound out of these genres.

Having started out as a cover artiste, why did you go solo?
I was part of a band that had many talented women, who had different ambitions. Some were there for showbiz, but I was there for a career. When you are in a company, you have to dance to the tunes of the bosses. I left to follow my dreams.

How is the journey as a solo artist so far?
I won’t say it is easy but I’m enjoying the hustle. When I left, I did not think I was going for greener pastures without any hustle. We were pampered in the band. We were picked up for gigs, dropped off at home, they dressed us, marketed us and all we did was sing which is not the case now.

What is your biggest challenge now?
The financial aspect of it. Music is business at the end of the day. You need to facilitate everything concerning your career.

You are having a concert tomorrow. Why now?
I think this is the right time, I have a lot in stock in terms of content and experience.

Will you be hosting concerts on an annual basis as the trend is?
It will depend. So far I have two albums, it is possible to have a concert next year. Though right now, it is the Jungle experience so I’m likely for the next three years to be consistent and take a break afterwards.

Most musicians dream of having a Kampala concert. Why did you choose Jinja?
Jinja is in Uganda. I have a degree in Tourism, I still practice that part of education within my music. So, I look at the Eastern part of Uganda as an eco-tourism destination; there is a lot that part of the country can offer.

Don’t you think you are doing a little injustice to your Kampala fans?
If they love me, they have to travel to the East. I have been to Nyege Nyege and most people are from Kampala. I’m not asking for much, just 20k for a VIP show.

For a person that studied Tourism, why music?
After University, i practised tourism. Passion drove me towards music, not in a million years did I think it would be a career but the passion kept growing until I could not escape music anymore.

Where did you practice tourism?
I worked in hotels, I was a waitress in many tourism facilities. I was fired a number of times for sneaking out to perform or coming late to work because I was out performing.

Is music what you are only surviving on?
I’m an artist. I paint especially landscape, I do volunteer work around youths, and I own Tropical Noise band among others things.

How do you find the music industry lately?
Compared to the past years, the audience has started appreciating the industry. They used to love foreign music unlike ours; today, there are many media houses which makes audience access music easier. Though the market is financially inflated by wealthier artistes; where I invest Shs300k, they will inject Shs1million, but if you work around the creative arts, it affects you less.

What advice would you give aspiring artistes out there?
Create your own paths. It is expensive to walk into someone else’s journey because you do not know what they have been through and how far they have come. Instead of being a Chameleone, Bebe Cool or Kadima, be you. Just be creative.

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