ADJUMANI: For years, Wise DG has been a city boy, until he realised that home is where the heart belongs. Now besides doing music, he has established a studio in Adjumani District, and is promoting musicians in West Nile. He shared his story with Martin Okudi.
Who is Wise DG?
My name is Wise Godfrey Agameli and my stage name is Wise DG. I am a 37-year-old professional teacher, talented musician and father of four.
What motivated you to join music?
My music journey began from St John Bosco Minor Seminary in Hoima District at the age of 16. We used to attend church services and sing worship songs, which inspired my passion for music.
Have you completed your course?
My initial plan was to become a Catholic priest, but all did not go as planned because I was suspended in my second year while at Katigondo Major Seminary in Masaka District, when I sneaked out of school to participate in the Tusker Project Fame auditions held at Ange Noir discotheque in Kampala.
One of the priests spotted me on UBC TV and I was shown the exit. So I left the seminary because of my love for music.
How would you describe the kind of music you create?
I am a versatile musician because I do all kinds of music; Afro beat, reggae, gospel and Zouk but I do more of Afro beat.
What is your strength as a musician?
My talent and the huge number of followers. I would have loved to continue with my priesthood dream, but I realised my talent was exceptional. That is why I have no regrets.
You have a recording studio. Tell us more about it.
I have established recording studios; Wise Records, both in Kampala and Adjumani District. I charge Shs200,000 to record a song in the Kampala studio, and Shs100,000 per song for my Adjumani clients because I love my region and I want to promote fellow artistes across West Nile region.
Do you record from your studio?
No, I record some of my songs in other studios because some of the songs cannot be produced in the local studio.
What is your favourite song?
I look at my songs like a parent who would not segregate any of his children, but if I am to choose one, I would go for “Mama Baby”.
The song encourages married men to keep a blind eye on beautiful women outside their marriage and urges them to cherish and love their wives after marriage because in the Bible, God only created one companion for Adam – Eve.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your songs?
I use many proverbs in my songs, which I derive from the Bible, for example one of my songs is called “Nyimetawa” , which talks about being tolerant in every situation because when you rush into making decisions, you may regret for the rest of your life.
How many songs have you recorded so far?
I have written more than 200 songs, recorded 150, and featured other artistes in the the other 50.
You said you have several fans across the globe, have you ever performed outside Uganda?
Yes, I have performed in South Sudan, Kenya and Rwanda although my planned performance for the Madi community in Australia did not go as planned because of travel bureaucracy.
How has 2020 been for you and your music career?
I have spent 36 years in Kampala since my childhood but this year, I decided to return home because I have realised the biggest portion of my audience is from the grassroots.
I also spent a lot of money recording songs that are loved by many fans but I cannot launch the songs because of Covid-19 restrictions that has kept bars and nightclubs shut.
It has been a very tough year. My family is surviving because apart from music, I also do farming in Kigumba, Kiryandongo District, where I grow maize, sweet potatoes and cassava for home consumption and we sell the excess.
What are you most excited about ?
I am excited because through music, I have made a lot of friendly connections across the globe. This has helped me in very many ways.
How do you keep yourself relevant to your fans?
I upload my new songs on social media and sometimes I do Facebook live interactions. I also take my songs to local radio stations so that presenters can play them for the listeners.
If you could change anything about the entertainment industry, what would it be?
I would advocate for musicians to be original in their compositions. I would also rally the various stakeholders to support the music industry, especially in difficult times like the Covid-19 pandemic.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
They should pay a deaf ear to negative criticism, embrace hardwork and be focused.
When did you record your first song?
In 2008, “Siti”, literally translated as money. The song is all about the poor and the rich crying about economic hardships. When you ask people for financial help regardless of their status, none of them admits to having money.
Any message for your fans?
Music is a tool that can be used to unify the people to embrace development. Music is like any other job, people should throw away the negative impression that musicians are wasted and idle.
Don’t want to miss out on any story? For updates on all Sqoop stories, follow this link on Telegram: https://t.me/Sqoop