Pulse Interview: Maloba Joseph a.k.a Lobstar on what it means to Curate Music Content

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Curated by a renown music fanatic Lobstar, is a playlist of Ugandan music code named “Code256” made of hit songs from both upcoming artistes and artistes who are at their prime with ultra fine music receiving immense airplay online and in favorite hangout places in and around town.

MTN Pulse caught up with Joseph Maloba alias Lobstar on what it means to be a content curator in the world of music, and he had this to say;

On why he started curating music…
I have always had profound interest in the uganda music scene. I’ve been that guy that knows what new Uganda song has been released, when, and which songs have potential to blow up. Ugandan music being something I obsessively love made me yearn to discover more and more. I realized that there is a lot of great Ugandan music being released that isn’t getting any or enough airplay on mainstream radio. I had to think about a way to get this music heard and me curating a playlist was just the perfect way to go. The fact that the music streaming culture in Uganda and the world at large is growing so fast also gave me more enthusiasm.

On when he started curating music content…
Creating playlists is something I have been doing from back in the day when going to Libraries to burn MP3s for Portable CD players was a thing, but I started the Code256 Fresh Hits Playlist in the first quarter of 2018.

On what inspired him…
First of all, the natural love for music and the desire to share the good music I listen to, then the whole idea that I could  actually start a career within the music industry without being a DJ, artiste, presenter or something of that sort, but rather just by compiling a playlist that’s  relatable and can sort of be an expression of a lifestyle while at the same time bridging a gap between Ugandans around the world and local music. Many people, especially those living outside Uganda crave to listen to and be in the know of good music from home that they might never have listened to anywhere. So I create my playlists with the hope that they connect many who listen to Uganda even from far.

On whether this initiative will change the way people perceive Ugandan Music…
Absolutely. Previously people didn’t have options away from listening to radio which in most cases is playing limited local music and more of foreign music, but now they get a chance to listen to a lot more good Ugandan music and updated  playlists.

On how often he refreshes his playlist…
The Code256 Fresh Hits playlist gets refreshed daily since there is new music being released almost every hour in Uganda.

On whether he gets permission from artistes to use their songs in his playlists…
In most cases I add music that artistes have uploaded on streaming platforms and I’m vibing to at the moment that I believe is the kind that any one who likes good music will enjoy, so I don’t usually ask for permission. Artists also submit their music to me for consideration so if I like it, it’s added to my lists.
As for the YouTube playlist, I seek permission from artistes as it is just respectful and of course their music is licensed.

On Challenges that come with curating music content…
This being something I love doing, I haven’t faced any challenges and everything is going smoothly. However,Some artistes still undermine the power of playlist placements and will often say No when I seek for permission to add their music on a playlist that I stream 24/7 on Youtube.

On how he intends to overcome some challenges…
For now, I will continue discovering and adding mainly the newer breed of Ugandan artists as they are doing very good music and they are very digital in the way they promote their music, so they understand that the music streaming is the way to go and are more welcoming of the idea.

On why Ugandan music is not doing so well on digital platforms (views) as compared to countries like Tanzania and Kenya…

To a larger extent, it isn’t something musicians can control as the internet penetration in Uganda isn’t that good as compare to our neighbors in Kenya which is almost at 85%. Ugandans still have a problem of expensive data bundles that limits their ability to support Ugandan music online and that’s why most of the views are mainly coming from viewers in the Diaspora especially in the Middle East. Collaborations with artistes from outside Uganda are the best way they can tap into new markets that will appreciate their good music hence increasing their viewership.

On where and how other music zealots can find his curated playlists…
My playlist is comprised of purely good Ugandan music comprising a lot of bubbling under talent with a bright future and you should of course check it out already.

LINKS
TIDAL:
https://tidal.com/playlist/b7e35c3f-45cf-4fae-89df-d0142446dff1

YOUTUBE CHANNEL: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy2Kp3mIn69phaV8QEmjLQA

APPLE MUSIC: https://itunes.apple.com/ug/playlist/code256-fresh-hits/pl.u-55D6Zy3C8pvMm3y