Starboy: Anselm Aaron Okiror, aka Rody Gavana, says he is the biggest artiste in Soroti because his songs are the most requested. Isaac Ssejjombwe had a chat with him.
Where did the name Rody Gavana come from?
Rody is an abbreviation for Rule Of De Young. Gavana is because I want to be the governor of the music industry.
Did your parents approve your decision to do music?
Yes, but they cautioned me to stay away from bad acts such as drug use.
Why the interest in music?
I love the lifestyle musicians live, the respect they have and music is food for the soul, so I wanted to be among those serving that food.
What style of music do you do and how many songs do you have?
I do hip hop/dancehall and I have 12 songs, including Nonstop, Asigiri, Banana, Stamina, Iyemuto, Oligino ft. Jessy Junta, Akello, Pick and Play, Onyango ft. Josh Rash, Ijo Amina Eong ft. Karah.
There are many artistes in Uganda. What makes you different?
My music style and stage name. There are some things that upcoming artistes should look at if they want to sell out; the stage name and style of music. We have seen many artistes who have been overshadowed by their songs.
Why do you consider yourself a star?
Because people sing along to my songs, out of 11 songs, nine are hits and my music is starting to cut across to other regions. And I have been here for only three years.
Some people are in music to make money, others to make a name, why are you doing music?
When you make hits, you will make a name and when you make a name, definitely you will make money. We all need money.
Which artistes inspire you?
Radio and Weasel, Fik Fameica, Wizkid and Diamond Platnumz.
Radio for his lyrical prowess, Fik Fameica because of the speed in which he took the attention of the entire nation and the fact that he is still making music, Wizkid for his simple lyrics and making music sound so easy and Diamond Platnumz because of his stage performance and fashion sense.
How are you coping with the new normal?
When Covid-19 had just invaded our country, people had turned all their attention on the pandemic but now they have learnt to live with it. It is sad that we have no more shows and it is affecting us as artistes but as you know, health matters. We have to keep following the guidelines because we all need the parties back.
What challenges are you facing in the industry?
Working without a manager is hard. We do everything on our own. You know music is expensive and it needs investment. A good audio will cost you at least Shs500,000 and a good video at least Shs2m, so it is difficult but I believe all will be well.
Since you do not have a manager, who facilitates your music career?
I do, together with friends, with whom we formed a group called Wakanda Entertainment.
What are your goals in this industry?
My goals are to be a big name in Africa, do collaborations with the big artistes and make money out of the industry.