Allan Ampaire alias Toniks, is an RnB artiste who has been in the industry for more than 10 years. He has released several hits through the years. Isaac Ssejjombwe had a chat with him about life, music and career.
Why did you choose to do music of all careers?
Music brings people together. It’s a celebration of life. Music is a good time, music is a universal language. There are always other options. However, I followed my passion and it led me to music as a career.
Briefly take us through your music journey?
I think we would need a dedicated interview to exhaust this subject. It has been a roller coaster right from high school to this point. I started with a guitar and I am celebrating many years of learning and growing in the music industry. From unexpected thrust into stardom at a tender age, which came with its own challenges, I had to balance books at university and meet the demands of a dynamic industry. I have been a song writer, producer, manager, video co-director, booking agent for most of my career. It has been a learning experience.
If it wasn’t for music, what would you be doing?
I would be a businessman or lawyer.
You have been around for quite some time. What would you say is different from when you started out and now?
Today, finances take precedence over talent. Talent sold like a hot cake back in the day. That is why many artistes including those from upcountry made a footprint in the music industry.
What do you think is lacking in the industry lately?
I think talent is abundant but the supporting structures such as Uganda Performing Right Society, the copyright law and governmeny policy are not doing enough to promote the music industry. Also some industry players such as record labels, management companies and publicists are unprofessional.
I also think experience and exposure and working with the business fraternity would give a competitive edge to many artistes. Overall, we have come a long way as an industry and we still have many milestones to accomplish.
Did Covid-19 have grave effects on your career?
Like most industry players, my music schedules and bookings were interrupted. Shows and performances were prohibited as well as the travel ban that caused cancellation of contracts. There is considerable financial loss with zero government intervention, unlike in developed countries. Even the political situation which usually involves music as a major industry player, did not help matters. Covid-19 was a test of resilience for the whole world and I believe entertainment was one of the sectors directly affected. However, with the support of our fans, and growing culture of paid online consumption, we hope to overcome these challenges.
You are among the few artistes who started out with a hit in ‘Beera Nange’. How have you managed to keep around for all this time?
Starting out with a hit song had its own challenges as a new artiste then, but it was a pleasant surprise. I have been blessed by the support of my fans always and I am forever thankful.
We heard you are also a producer, tell us some of the songs you have produced?
I have produced most of my songs including Tukyekole, Itaano, Ningyenda yoona, Regular featuring Navio, That gal, Who you are ft Ray Signature, Baby language with Don Mc and Mungatto, among others.
Who is your ideal woman?
I like a woman that challenges and inspires me. Beauty of course, but in the long run character becomes critical.
What is the most precious gift you have ever given a woman?
My time.Time is the most precious gift one can give someone you care about. And the more time I give someone or spend with someone, the more pages of my story they cover.
How have you dealt with women stalkers?
I guess not. Being inaccessible is the only real way to deal with stalkers. But with social media today, that’s also not that easy.
What is your all-time best song among those you have released and why?
Like most artistes, my maiden work gives me nostalgia and reminds me that unlike everything else, music lasts forever.
Which schools did you attend?
I went to Mbarara Preparatory School, Kings College Budo, Ntare School, Makerere University and Paris Institute of Political studies in France.
What are you working on lately?
I have a new song titled My Miss produced by Daddy Andre, which is now available on all online platforms. I will be releasing the video soon. I have also worked on a couple of collabos with several artistes.