No borders: Philly Weed has been in the music industry for a while. And for the Busia border artiste, music is a talent he is using to discourage young people from takng drugs. REBECCA KABUYA met the singer.
In a few words, describe yourself.
Weed is a determined, fearless businessman and a risk taker.
Is Weed your name?
My real name is Phillip Musisi. Weed was given to me by friends while I was in Senior One because I was a drug addict; I smoked marijuana and all sorts of drugs.
How and when did you start your music career?
I have always loved music and that love is that what inspired me. I recorded my first song called Komawo in 2009.
What do you love about being a musician?
That special treatment that artistes get wherever they go is what I treasure most.
Music is quite competitive. How are you able to compete in this industry?
True the industry is competitive but every artiste has their style. Personally I know my target audience and I make sure I sing issues that affect and touch their lives. I also make sure that I am up to date on current affairs in order to get song ideas.
What are some of the challenges you face as an upcoming artiste?
There are quite a number but the most challenging so far is having no promoter. Sometimes, people disrespect upcountry musicians because we are financially unstable.
Do you ever get stage fright?
I am confident! When I have a show, I make sure I rehearse thoroughly.
Have you performed beyond the borders of eastern Uganda?
Of course! I have performed in Kampala, Kalangala, Masaka, Mbarara and Kenya.
Any upcoming projects?
I am working on three music projects as well as shooting music videos and other business deals.
What strategies do you use to market your music?
I have befriended media personalities; I take my music to them and they play it. I also take CDs to various DJs. Social media has also helped me because I upload my songs on Youtube for easy access by fans.
How big is your fanbase so far?
My fanbase is growing steadily because I am determined to keep my name and image growing. Currently, I have fans in the entire eastern Uganda, parts of Kenya and beyond.
If you were given a chance, what would you change about the music industry?
I would make sure artistes sing about issues that directly affect people’s lives and bring development. Most artistes sing about love as if that is the biggest issue. I would make sure that Ugandans start loving local music and start supporting their own artistes so that the industry can grow.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I dream big. I want to be among Africa’s biggest and finest ragga-dancehall artistes and I am sure I will achieve that.
Your marital status?
I am married.
How many songs do you have so far?
I have about 14 recorded songs but many have not been recorded yet due to financial constraints. I have a collabo with Geostady and Guvnor. My recorded tracks include Mweriko, Komawo, Sweet Mutima, Kambalage, Muna Uganda, Dancehallnite and many others.
What kind of music do you do?
I do afro and dancehall ragga.
What are your hobbies?
I love dancing, singing, watching movies but mostly interacting with my friends.
Tell us about your education and family background.
I was born to Mr Vincent Wangira and Ms Annet Akumu of Busia District. I went to Madibira and Two Way primary schools and then joined Forward Senior Secondary School.