Hellen Lukoma is not afraid of making a few mistakes in life because she learns from them and she wants to achieve everything possible in her life.
About Hellen Lukoma
Hellen Lukoma, also known as HL or Black Barbie, is a Ugandan singer, songwriter, actress, model, fashionista, and a mother of two.
Born 1st October, in a family of six from Makindye, Hellen Lukoma’s music started early at a church near home in Makindye.
She was part of the Music Dance and Drama class in school then joined the Obsessions girl group before breaking away with Brenda Nambi to form the HB Toxic duo around 2008.
Her solo career kicked off around 2012 after splitting with Nambi and she has since released several music projects and played major roles in some of the biggest film projects on the local scene.
We caught up with the C.A.N Music singer and discussed the interesting and challenging points of her promising career:
Where and how did your music career begin, and who gave you the platform?
My music career started at a church that was near our home in Makindye. I later joined the MDD class in school before joining the Obsessions group, then HB Toxic, and later opted for a solo career.
Starting out as a new artist, what are some of the memorable moments that you can never forget?
It’s the challenges.
Which were the first major challenges for you and how did you overcome them?
My hardest challenge was financing because you couldn’t go anywhere without money. Without money, nothing moves.
How much did your parents contribute to your career?
My parents were very supportive. The best contribution that they gave me that was very important is their love and assurance for me to do what I want.
Which is your unforgettable studio memory?
Making good music is always a memorable experience for me.
Where were you and what were you doing when you heard your song play for the very first time?
I don’t remember when I heard my song play for the first time. But it’s a good feeling hearing your music on the radio.
How did you react to that?
It never stops being beautiful. Even now, when I hear my music play, it’s a special moment.
How much were you paid for your first performance? When and where was it?
Like Shs200k, I think.
What do you think is the unique piece in your music that fans love so much?
Being myself. I am myself and I really don’t try to imitate another person. I want to strictly stay Lukoma.
Has your talent landed you in trouble before?
People easily judge me. Even when it comes to making friends, even when it comes to business, people judge me easily. But it’s okay. Has it led me into trouble? No. My talent has only brought me happiness. As for the judgment, anyone is entitled to their opinion.
How do you choose your team and what do you regard before you employ anyone?
I really like honest people, I like genuine people, I like people who love what I love and I like people who love me. It becomes easier to work with such people. It’s not easy to choose a team. I’ve had people who I’ve lost but right now I have a great team of people who believe in me.
Apart from a manager, who is a must-have on a celebrity’s team?
The manager is the must-have (laughs). Well, also an assistant. An assistant does a great job, they can do what a manager cannot do, and they can do what I can’t do. An assistant is good. There are a number of people and everyone is important.
What has changed much in the industry since you joined?
The industry is growing. Financially, people get paid. Art is now seen as a job, something very important in life unlike in the past when artists were regarded as unimportant. It’s a respected career and the industry is developing.
If someone asked what your top 3 contributions to the industry are, what would you tell them?
I am Helen Lukoma. Just that is a contribution (laughs). I don’t know the rest. I do good music, I inspire kids. I am a female, just being a female is a big contribution because most times everything is dominated by men.
What is the one piece of advice a younger version of you didn’t consider but should have?
Do not waste time. Do what you gotta do because we only live once.
Would you want your children to follow your career path? If so, which step would you wish them to skip?
I don’t know actually. It has no problem, I wouldn’t mind seeing my son become a ka-cute musician, “the legendary Heaven” blah blah but I am also not gonna stop them from achieving what they want. I am not gonna stop them from being themselves and seeing the world more.
Relationships at work. What do you have to say about those? Do you believe they can grow and prosper?
Sometimes it is hard, but it is also possible. It is not easy, not the best thing at work but yes it can grow into something. You can never know where it can go. It depends on the two people, their maturity, where they are going, and where they want to head to. So it may (grow), and it may not. It’s 50-50.
Do you have any regrets in your career?
No, I don’t have any regrets because I’m still making a lot of mistakes (laughs). So when the regrets come, I don’t know if I will notice them. I’m gonna make a lot of mistakes and I am going to learn from them.
What more would you like to achieve?
I want to achieve everything to the fullest. I want to know what the world has to offer, I want to achieve everything. I don’t know if it’s possible but I’m going to try.
The last piece of advice you would give to the reader that would definitely help them in their respective careers
Banange time is precious, you only get to live once. You don’t get to waste your time, you don’t care about people’s opinions, and you don’t let anything stop you. Even when it stops you, pick yourself up and walk, and love yourself a little bit more because if you love yourself, it’s hard for someone to destroy what you believe in.