Upclose. Esther Namagembe, alias Estar, is a budding Ugandan gospel musician who has recorded a couple of songs under Believer‘s Love Nation (BLN) a record label for gospel artistes. The 23-year-old recently released her single dubbed Gwosinga. Gabriel Buule caught up with Estar.
First thing you do in the morning is…
I refresh. Just like any other woman and a musician I have to look for what clothes to wear and make-up to apply.
I am a young person who speaks to souls through my music and my look matters. The best way to inspire others, is to look good and present yourself well.
First thing you do when you get to work?
I run my life on Christian values, and one of the values I treasure is to love one another and when I get to work I greet whoever I meet there.
Earliest childhood memory...
Oh! Imagine my mother would force me to sleep during day yet our neighbours’ children were left to play. It was not cool.
How old were you then?
Between six and eight years.
First best friend...
Josephine, my little sister. I am used to her and we are best friends.
First book you read…?
Animal Farm by George Orwell.
Music was my first and still is my job.
I’m a vocalist singer and songwriter.
I do not work for salary but I recall my first gig earned me Shs50,000.
What did you use your first salary for?
Eh! I bought a dress and some jewellery.
What are you studying and where?
I am pursuing a diploma in Fashion and Design at YMCA Institute in Kampala.
What do you like about your job?
I am able to share my thoughts, and my feelings through lyrics. For others, it is passion and all in all it does not give me hard time and I have a good God-fearing boss.
Most memorable experience...
When I signed a contract with the BLN music label. Musicians struggle to get a nod from promoters but mine was a bit swift and a dream come true.
Biggest regret in life…
I regret not realising that music was my calling. Had I started earlier, I would be far by now.
First thing you do before you get on stage?
Unlike some artistes who do weed or alcohol to gain confidence, prayer is my greatest weapon.
What do you dislike about your work?
When my boss sends in an assignment late and yet it has to be worked on the next morning.
What music are you listening to now?
I listen to gospel music because gospel music does not only make me feel good but it is also my musical genre but sometimes I also listen to soul.
Who is that gospel artist you look up to and why…
Tasha Cobbs Leonard, I aspire to match her vocal prowess because she is one of the most powerful and influential female voices in gospel music.
Some guy called Ivan.
He was handsome, hardworking and God-fearing. Maybe those are the qualities anyone would look for.
Best advice ever received…
My mother said always put God first in everything I do , to know my value in life ,to always be focused on what I want to be and to be respectful .