The uncertainty of the future of the education sector has left many children camped at home, but for twenty-year-old Brian Mawerere, music is his go-to.
The MTN Foundation Youth Skilling program is his stepping stone.
Mawerere alias Welleh Beats is one of the participants in the MTN Foundation Youth Skilling program, a partnership between MTN Foundation and Ubunifu systems created with the aim of empowering youth into becoming job creators.
With the ultimate dream of becoming an entrepreneur in music production, Welleh jumped at the opportunity to attain business skills from the MTN Foundation Youth Skilling program in December 2020.
He knew that to attain the dream of becoming one of the most successful music producers in the region, he needed to have the right business skillset to run and manage a company.
“Through the MTN Foundation Youth Skilling Program, I learnt how to manage business and now have some knowledge especially on digital skills. I can now keep tabs on my company records through Microsoft excel, make beautiful presentations using MS Powerpoint and the overall knowledge of using computers will help me navigate the software in my music production journey,” he says.
Welleh’s music production journey is budding with about a year’s experience in his pocket.
He embarked on the tunes and hymns expedition after schools were closed as a result of the pandemic in March 2020.
Welleh is a senior six vacist from Bright Secondary School Entebbe having accomplished his Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) in 2019, right before the pandemic hit.
Slotted for university in 2020, unaware of the pandemic that the future held, Welleh was vested in cultivating a passion he had for music. He was inspired by the late Danz Kumapeesa.
“After finishing my S6, I got a job from which I was earning some money. I bought a small laptop and installed basic software for music production,” he narrates.
For months, Welleh trained on his laptop and a nearby studio in Seguku where he was working with his father. In November 2020, Welleh hit a milestone when he got an opportunity to work as a producer at his uncle’s friend’s studio.
“With help from my uncle, I got a link to his friend who needed a producer. Following a successful audition, I was hired at that studio in Kajjansi where I had to relocate,” he says.
However, the job didn’t last very long because the proprietor of the studio pulled out of the business, forcing Welleh to relocate back to his family home in Bulenga.
Determined to become a music producer, Welleh discovered Pinnacle records in Bulenga, a studio where he now undertakes continuous and relentless training.
“I officially joined the music industry while at Pinnacle records. There, I continued training myself both in the studio and researching via the internet on how to better my music production skills,” Welleh recounts.
Already, in his budding music production journey, Welleh has worked with some artists, mostly a cocktail of the upcoming.
“I have worked with some that might be known and others that aren’t so famous. I have worked with Zil Zil but one of my greatest achievements is making people happy through the work I do,” he explains.
Welleh’s journey of music production has been an adventure not without its challenges.
As he reveals, the high costs involved in investing in studio time and time required for research limit his ability to fully harness his potential in music production.
“I would like to go to a real school for example in sound engineering such that I can fully become like one of those renowned and advanced music producers but that is expensive,” he notes.
Youth Skilling Program boosts networking for Welleh
Already, MTN Foundation Youth Skilling Program has set some milestones for the youngster through network connections to one of the prominent music producers.
During his training, Welleh had the opportunity to meet Benon Mugumbya, popularly known as Benon, a musician and renowned music producer from Swangz Avenue.
Well-grounded on digital and business skills attained through the Program, Welleh believes that he will be well prepared to seek for an opportunity at Swangz Avenue sooner than later.
At Swangz, he hopes to build onto his music experience before he can venture into his own production.
He wishes to work with various talented artists such as Sheebah Karungi, Spice Diana and Naava Grey among others in future.
Speaking further to his future, Welleh hopes to become an accomplished entrepreneur in the music industry flanked by an honors of the best music producer across East Africa.