What began as a casual singing career way back in 2014 as a vocalist, it has now become a catalyst that would propel Fidel and his eclectic voice to the top of Uganda’s rising stars. As a dedicated musician, Fidel is involved in all aspects of the creative process. When writing his own music, Fidel draws her inspiration from everything he sees and hears through his everyday life.
2017 has been a breakthrough for Fidel as he is set to release new original music that showcases his evolution as an artist. In an exclusive interview, Fidel spoke to Isleeve Daniels about his musical journey and more.
ISLEEVE: Who is Fidel?
Fidel Wapokurwa known professionally as Fidel is a down to earth, loving and caring person, just like that dude next door neighbor…hope next door neighbor is not noisy.
ISLEEVE: What inspired you to join music?
I was inspired to join the music industry by everything happening in my life; people, and the environment surrounding me.
ISLEEVE: When did you join the industry?
I started my music career when I was still in high school way back in 2008 as a backup vocalist, but professionally, I started in 2014 after recording several songs with different producers at various studios like Ammah Records Elgon studios Mbarara and later at R2 sound Studios Mbarara including some other upcoming recording studios Andy pro Malaba.
ISLEEVE: How would you describe your music to people who are just getting familiar with you?
If you want to have tips on love and inspiration, then this will be your dude right here. I am versatile in doing different genres of music which include reggae, hip-hop, and R&B.
ISLEEVE: What are your songs about and who influenced your style?
Mostly I do love songs, but in general, positive music is what I love giving out there…
ISLEEVE: How do you separate yourself from other artists, what makes your music unique?
I wouldn’t say am special than my fellow artists, but I put my music into consideration to my fans and the society at large, I do more of doing than just words.
I use my music as a platform to give hope to other upcoming artists, and together with my team Fidempire Music— an initiative that supports and empowers talents collectively under a mutual principal of collective bargain, collective purchase and collective sharing — we do try to make sure that we give artists everything needed (mentoring them) to better understand the industry.
ISLEEVE: Any challenges so far?
Airplay, airplay, airplay is the major challenge despite the government’s effort trying to impose/regulate local broadcasters with ‘local content law’ that is set to ensure 40 per cent (9.6 hours) of local content broadcasted on radio and television stations is locally produced.
Another daunting challenge is music piracy which is seriously hurting our industry. But all these challenges have never held me back from giving the best to my fans.
ISLEEVE: What do you find to be the most challenging part of being a musician in Uganda and more so Malaba Uganda?
Lack of unity is rife amongst Ugandan musicians. We don’t know what is called togetherness. Most of the musicians are driven by ego and are full of envy. Very few established or seasoned artists embrace and support the upcoming ones. They have forgotten that music business is built on relationships; you just don’t take advantage of other people.
ISLEEVE: What are your thoughts on the current trend of music in your genre?
The music of Uganda is one of the most diverse in the continent. With an assortment of popular music forms in addition to multiple types of folk music derived from the country’s more than 40 regional languages resulting to genres like Hip-hop, Reggae, Rock, Soul, Zouk, and others — with my diversity and flexibility, I think I am well accommodated in our industry.
ISLEEVE: Any achievements for you so far?
Above all, I have acquired knowledge. I have learnt and understood my industry better than I knew it before, and now, I know what to expect in my journey towards my music career.
Another career changing achievement, I have worked with different artist in Uganda whom I respect a lot, I have made collaborations with several of them too, and currently I am working with Joxx the famous producer behind Emesse hit by Captain Dolla, Natro. . It is by God’s grace, talent and self-determination that I have had international exposure which every hardworking artist deserves.
ISLEEVE: Has there been one particular moment in your musical career that you’re most proud of?
Yes. My music got airplay on Vision Radio(Mbarara). Bukedde TV. Crooze Fm(Mbarara), Rock Mambo, EAST FM and Emuria Fm (Kenya) Really many I should confess.
I am so proud that I have been featured in several big concerts in Uganda that consist of big artists; Introspect Riddim, Avatar Riddim and Uptown Girl Riddim –that featured artists like Mun G. Moze Radio and SHEEBA come 20TH Nov. 2017 at Queens Palace Malaba
ISLEEVE: Who are some of the artistes you have collaborated with and who are you currently working with?
I have a current hit titled We are Bad where I am featuring Natro, Grace and Baddies.
I also have another hit song titled YEGWE featuring JOXX and NATRO.
ISLEEVE: Who produces your music and how many songs/albums do you have so far?
Apparently I have worked with different producers like Alex who produced AM HAPPY, also T.O.N who produced REVIVAL.
Also T.O.N & Riddim .K. produced PEACE and lately Joxx Adolla who produced CHEKESHA.
ISLEEVE: Do you belong to any Musician’s Label/Union?
Currently I am on my own label. FIDEMPIRE MUSIC
ISLEEVE: What would you change about the music industry in Uganda?
I would change the perspective that we have no content or origin in our music, and let the critiques know, there is a lot of good stuff if you get a chance to listen to our own production. This applies to our media and Ugandans at large.
ISLEEVE: Are you financially able to fund costs of establishing your music career?
Getting a music career off the ground is not only hard work — it also costs money. But the simplest ideas and creativity can deliver big payoffs. Yes, I am financially able to fund the costs, and I thank God for that support he delivers through man.
ISLEEVE: Who handles your daily business activities like bookings, promotions etc?
Promoter Virus handles my daily activities from production, bookings and promotions.
ISLEEVE: What is your dream project?
I have always thought of establishing a children’s home especially for streets kids, and a music school that will be free to everyone who is artistically talented, but financially unstable.
ISLEEVE: What do you do alongside music? Do you have any side job?
AM a graphic designer at Granite Graphix Malaba
ISLEEVE: Do you have any advice for up-and-coming artists out there?
Never take your talent for granted. There is a reason God gave it to ONLY you. Above all, pray and talk to your God to see you throughout your career and never forget where you came from.
ISLEEVE: Give a shout out…
Let me start with 100.2 East FM and people of Malaba, Uganda Mbarara and Kampala for embracing us. To all my loving and supporting family, friends and the people who make me wake up and get to do what I love most (my LOVING FANS) I love you and I don’t take you for granted, and all the DJs and presenters keep supporting 256.. signing out……
For FIDEL’S music please follow this link to download