101: Jimmy Novic Turned To Gospel After Surviving A Terrible Accident.
Written by Derrick Asaba on November 9, 2021
Born Jimmy Kisakye, Gospel singer Jimmy Novic is one of the youngest musicians lifting and glorifying God’s name through music. His life story that was primarily intertwined by financial challenges in the family and later growing up in an orphanage environment, climaxes with great but numerous testimonies. DERRICK ASABA had a chat with him to know what he has been up to lately and find out how his musical journey took its course from the very inception.
What inspired the moniker, Novic?
It was by someone who gave it to me while on a trip abroad. It’s just a given name. By then I was very young. I remember I was eleven and I decided to take it.
You were young, how old are you now?
I am now 17 but will turn 18 on December 7, 2021. That’s when I will be a grown up.
You must be a student. Where do you study from?
I am done with my O’ level and studying at an International School called Trinity Senior Academy, Entebbe. It’s a God fearing, well disciplined and organised school that also promotes talent. I have been there for three years ever since I was in Senior Two.
Do you pay for your school fees?
I have been doing that however, at times it gets so tough for me. So I have great people of impact who help me when I really fail to make it. My education is facilitated in that way.
Being an artist and a student at the same time, how do you juggle the two?
I don’t sit ― I am hardworking and that’s all I can say.
(Laughs) What can I say? That can happen. Being a musician while in school is something special and different. They know about my musical status but then I don’t behave so much in that line. I am a very humble guy, behave the same way any other student would be and I don’t take myself so high like many could do but I rather appreciate the respect I am given right from the top school officials to the students. I am quiet but very talented, so much active in music departments. For the girls issue (laughing), you can’t be a musician and don’t experience such. Girls do their part but because I am a Church Boy, I behave like one. Some get off the way but I am a determined guy not so interested in issues to do with girls. I just make them my best friends.
It is said that ‘Boys are never friends with girls’ and that it can lead to some kind of behaviour. Aren’t you afraid these friendships could take that way?
I believe in that but then it takes one’s decision. I am not that kind of boy who can take things far. I am a musician and I need fans. That brings in making friends and that’s why I make friendships. Plus, I am not afraid of anything because I am different.
When did you start singing professionally and how was it for you at the start?
It was in 2017. I grew up in an orphanage (Bulamu Child Village) and that’s where I developed the idea of starting music. We used to have music classes. The director of the orphanage could bring music trainers for instruments, vocals, and many more trainers. I used to take that opportunity and that’s how I began after engaging in some departments there. I was lucky to grow up from such an orphanage. We learnt a lot of musical instruments because I remember when I got done with the vocal department, I joined the instrumentalists. It became easier for me to do both. Currently I sing but can also play most of the musical instruments like piano. Having that little knowledge about music made me want to do more music. When I left the orphanage and came to face the world, it was not really good on my side. I found a lot of challenges whereby I had to pay music producers to do for me a song which was so expensive yet I had no one who could hold my hand in music. Till now, I still do that myself. But of course when you are starting up something, it requires you to be with the capability of doing something which I lacked. It was a bit challenging and stressful but thank God I have made it here.
The progression from lacking to being able to do it yourself, what made this possible?
When I got an opportunity to go to South Africa mainly to sing, that’s when I got some money. I was able to do some music projects when I returned, some of which I decided to keep and others were released. After doing those projects, I got some good money which helped me in building my career up to now.
How have you found the music industry?
It is a bit stressful, challenging but still more of life on the other side. I always love what I do because it is a ministry.
Why did you choose to do Gospel music by the way?
That was because Gospel music is fun, full of life and so interesting. There is no competition; you do something on your pace and don’t face it rough as in the secular music side. Nonetheless, the most important reason was that when I look at my background, it’s a very tough story. I was to be lame ― I got in an accident at the age of five. When the fullness of time came, I decided to do Gospel music because it’s the only way I could pass my thanks to God through. That’s why most of my projects are thanks-themed. Also, I am a Pastor’s kid and I grew up in a God fearing family ― my life has been standing on a solid rock (God’s standards).
Briefly talk to me more about the accident.
It happened when I was still in the village where I stayed with my parents along Hoima Road. We used to eat very late in the night at around 10pm. I used to remain in the kitchen to eat the remaining posho on the mingling stick whenever my dad finished mingling. Our kitchen was a bit far from the house so we used to walk for some steps. It was on a rainy night and my dad urged me to wait so we could leave together to the house thereafter. In the process, he decided to carry the saucepans and me as well at his back. While we were moving, he slid and I was the first one to fall down. He also fell and sat on my left thigh and the saucepan covered my leg still. My leg broke and going forward, it was a tough situation for me and I had to spend a full year in Mulago Hospital. I thank God that I am now all well and if you find me on the way walking or driving, you can’t tell that I was once lame.
Of course money and fame can appear later but the ministry should lead. I surely know that if I do His work, then fame and money is a must after. They will follow.
Some people say there is no money in Gospel music.
That’s true because we don’t serve God to gain salaries but still it should be said that we have to gain 100% on the earth and 100% in heaven. All in all, money still lacks in the Gospel music industry.
What do you think would be the reason?
Most of us don’t do classy projects ― we don’t invest much in our projects. Also, we don’t pray for our ministry because believe me if one prays for their next song, that means it will be a successful one. We lack such spices.
What needs to be done to revert this situation?
We need to do good work because good work always sells itself. We need to stay away from selfishness and make good and positive friends. And we also need to be good readers of the Bible.
What did you hope for your musical journey to be and has turned out that way?
Fame, money, positive friends, travelling across the world and many others.
What is the major message or feeling you always intend your fans to receive when they listen to your music?
I just want them to have life back to their lives whenever they listen to my music.
Some people find discontentment in Gospel musicians who brand themselves in such a way; males with dreads, wearing earrings and much more. What do you say about it?
I can’t blame them (anyone). It is what they like. Anyone who wishes to make it in the industry must have a different way of making it. So, that can also be another way of someone being classy. A fan out there can love your dressing code or hairstyle but dislike your music. I have no problem with them.
What are some of the musical targets you seek to register five years from now?
I hope to start a live music recording studio, an audio recording studio and release an album. Others are private.
Jimmy, are you born again?
What provoked you to take this decision?
I not only know my story but also know the truth. That’s all.
I guess that’s one of the things you want to keep private…
You are right.
You said you grew up with your parents, what led you to the orphanage afterwards?
The situation wasn’t favourable so I had to join the orphanage ― Bulamu Children’s Village to keep life moving the right way it ought to have.
I realise your brother Eli Bulamu grew up there too. Did you relocate as a family or?
It was not as a family but everyone came in at a different time.
What is your biggest treasure?
My Church Ministry.