By BigEyeUg Team
In our ongoing series showcasing the movers and shakers in Uganda’s vibrant music scene, today we highlight the top talent managers who have made a significant impact on the Ugandan music industry. It is important to note that this list is presented in no particular order, regardless of the managers’ tenure in Uganda’s music business.
1. Jeff Kiwa (Born So Lucky): Geoffrey Kiwanuka, popularly known as Jeff Kiwa, stands as a cornerstone in Uganda’s music business. Managing talents since the mid-2000s, Jeff Kiwa has played a pivotal role in shaping the careers of prominent artists such as Jose Chameleone, Radio & Weasel, Sheebah Karungi, Pallaso, and Grenade Official, among others.
Known for his understated demeanor and humility, Jeff is a force to be reckoned with in the practical aspects of the music industry. His exceptional music ear and keen anticipation make him adept at selecting and crafting hit songs. Jeff Kiwa’s talent-spotting abilities are second nature, and his branding strategies are consistently on point, making him an irresistible choice for any artist.
2. Swangz Avenue: One of the longest-surviving music record labels in Uganda and the broader East African region, Swangz Avenue, headquartered in Kampala, has been a breeding ground for numerous talents. Under the stewardship of directors Julius Kyazze and Benon Mugumbya, Swangz Avenue has propelled artists like Irene Ntale, the late Sera, Vinka, Azawi, Winnie Nwagi, and Zulanda to international recognition.
Beyond talent management, Swangz Avenue has diversified its portfolio, excelling in advertisement production (both audio and visual), event organizing, and music production. The company is known for its substantial investments in creating, publishing, and promoting its talents, thanks to the leadership of Julius and Benon.
3. Manager Roger: Rogers Lubega, professionally known as Manager Roger, is a dynamic figure in the industry, celebrated for his hands-on approach and relentless pursuit of new experiences.
Manager Roger the CEO Sauce Management played a pivotal role in the meteoric rise to fame of Uganda’s top female singer, Spice Diana. His managerial expertise extends to other notable artists such as Ziza Bafana, Pallaso, and Capital Music Icons.
4. Bushingtone: George Kagoda, widely recognized as Bushingtone, is a distinguished talent and events manager, producer, and music director. Bushingtone is credited with catapulting Ugandan singer Lydia Jazmine to stardom.
His continental acclaim was solidified in 2016 when he made his debut on Coke Studio Africa, producing for Nigerian singer Flavour N’abania and Angolan artist Yuri Da Cunha.
5. Steve Jean: Renowned producer and entrepreneur Steve Jean, founder of Fenon Records, has been a key player in Uganda’s music production and events industry.
Notable for forming Blu*3, East Africa’s first female singing group in the 2000s, consisting of Cindy Sanyu, Lilian Mbabazi, and Jackie Chandiru, Steve Jean continues to make significant contributions to the industry.
This list merely scratches the surface of Uganda’s rich talent management landscape. Stay tuned for more captivating charts and topics as we delve deeper into the dynamic world of Ugandan music.