Cosign yenze: There are artistes whose songs are bigger than them and Cosign is one of them. Obeera Wa is a banger and has been since last year. Isaac Ssejjombwe caught up with him.
1.You just emerged. Who inspired you to join this industry?
I am still being inspired; that is why I do not generalise people who inspire me. Generations change and with every generation, there is something different that comes with it. When I was growing up, I looked up to Radio and Weasel but now I pick inspiration from the people I sing for.
2.Your music is bigger than you. What strategy do you have to reverse that?
I do not believe so. Music moves with image but what happened is that when we released Obeera Wa, the audio moved too fast before the video was released and ever since then, we decided as management to release songs with videos exclusively. So we have learnt the hard way but it is always a learning process.
3.Was Obeera Wa your first song? What inspired it?
It was not. It came after Niwatwire then came Bad Energy. Obeera Wa was actually done in 2016 but at the time, I was still trying to find myself as an artiste. The song was inspired by the many places my mates and I lived in. We used to be sarcastic in our conversations, discussing the different tribes and which areas they live in. That is how I came up with the song. This takes me back to my earlier statement that I am inspired by everything.
4.We have seen artistes break out but fail to sustain themselves. How are you working on staying afloat?
First of all God is steering my ship. Yes it is not easy but I am thankful for the little I have for now and hope that I will keep on delivering the best for my fans because keeping a career is not only based on money invested but believing, staying alive and having the right people to support you as well. I will be releasing a new song with Feffe Bussi titled Fako, which is going to be a hit.
5. What is your take on Uganda’s music industry? Any challenges so far?
I have two things to say about this. Positively, our music has changed because lately, you hear 95 per cent of Ugandan content being played everywhere which was not the case a few years ago.
However, most artistes do not earn well in the industry. We record a song and shoot a video of about Shs2m but getting that money back is a nightmare. We need some funding from the government at some point because the industry brings taxes as well.
Challenges are part of growth. It is how you deal with them that matters. But one of the challenges I face is that some clients want us to entertain them with offers of drinks yet we are in this business to make some money. This breaks our spirit most times.
Who is Cosign?
My real name is Bartson Lutalo. I am a God-fearing person, singer and songwriter. I was raised in Kangulumira, Kayunga District. I am an orphan. I attended Catherine Primary School, Kangulumira, Uganda Martyrs Secondary Kangulumira and did a diploma in Electrical Engineering at St Joseph Technical Institute, Kisubi, Entebbe.
I hope to be remembered for something in this industry. I hope to change and inspire whoever listens to my music. With God as my saviour, I am positive everything will turn out great.
If I wasn’t singing…
I would be an IT guy. This is also my side hustle. So I would not starve in this town.
History of Cosign
The stage name came from a friend. There was a time I was in studio and a few friends came in, so my producer sampled one of my songs. My friends did not know it was me singing, so one asked another what she thought about the jam and her response was that she cosigns. I took it up but added ‘Yenze’ to make it feel more Ugandan.