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Africa Music Rising Cionference – Pioneers of Change: Gloria Gift Nankunda

Interview by ARMC | Edited by Reggie Rasodi

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we proudly present the latest edition of Pioneers of Change! Today, we shine the spotlight on Gloria Gift Nankunda, a multi-talented force in the world of music and entertainment. Hailing from Uganda and making her mark in Toronto, Gloria is not just a musician but also a producer, director, voiceover artist, and a captivating host/MC. Join us in recognizing and celebrating her inspiring journey as a Ugandan-Canadian Folk Soul Artist, breaking barriers and creating waves in the industry.

Hey there! Firstly, happy international women’s day. We have been planning this interview for a while and I am excited to do it finally. Please introduce yourself and share a little about your musical journey?

I am a Ugandan-Canadian Folk Soul Artist based in Toronto. Founder & CEO Gisha productions. Creator & artistic director for “The East African Experience Toronto” a festival which highlights businesses & talent from the East African community in Canada.
Love it! What motivated you to choose music as your career path?

It’s been in my DNA right from my Grandma singing in the church choir, my father played guitar & grandfather was a singer-songwriter – wrote my very first solo folk piece (Oyonkye Nkusherekye – Lullaby). I too was part of the school choir since elementary school through high school where I Majored in Music Dance and Drama as a subject and now as a professional working artist.
Please share a moment when you felt empowered as a woman in the music industry, and how did it shape your career?

When I was the only female performer of Black – African origin to be part of the “Lullaby Mosaic” at the Small world Music Center in Feb. 2023 , with female musicians from Poland , Ukraine, Syria, Brazil & Greece.

Representation matters. How has the concept of representation influenced your career, and what approach do you aspire to adopt in the music industry to serve as a positive example for future generations?

The concept of representation has influenced my career as an advocate for culture preservation; Drawing from my own personal Ankole Uganda life experiences and those of the community to create music / art that resonates with a diverse audience – helping to amplify voices of underrepresented groups and provide a platform for our stories to be heard. Representation has influenced the way I engage with the audience and industry as a whole i.e singing in languages like “Swahili, Luganda, Runyankore, Zulu & Yoruba. There by embracing the diversity & Inclusivity to create space where people from different backgrounds feel valued hence fostering a sense of community and connection, both within my fan base and music industry.

In terms of aspirations; I would like to prioritize collaborations & mentorship, seeking out opportunities to work and support emerging artists from diverse backgrounds. By doing so help create pathways for underrepresented voices to enter the industry and thrive. In addition, I plan to use my platform to advocate for positive change within the music & entertainment industry , whether it involves equitable representation in performance line-ups , award ceremonies or pursuing greater diversity within industry leadership and decision -making roles. Such as sitting on the Board of the Arts councils , etc.

I really enjoyed this answer. Last but not least, so collaboration is key in the music world right? Could you tell us about a memorable collaboration with another talented woman and what you learned from the experience?

Getting to meet team ARMC -led by Sarah Jane Nicholson during the Canadian Music Week – CAAMA one-on-one market place meetings last summer in Toronto. Our conversations empowered me enough that I sought a chance to be part of this year’s ARMC 2024 , an idea that was also supported. I was empowered to be invited as a Speaker and I can’t wait to share my artistic experiences as a Canadian artist of African origin with the rest of my peers during the conference. I learned the power of “seeking out an opportunity” as well as the power of “creating a space or platform where other women can feel safe to want to participate” – granting opportunity!!.


We look forward to welcoming you onsite. Meet with new potential business partners, re-new old acquaintances and pursue new international trade opportunities. CAAMA members receive a discount on their CMW registration.

The International Marketplace hosted close to 1,000 B2B meetings around CMW in 2023. The 2024 Spotlight is on India, home to IPI (India Phonographic Industry) – the 2nd oldest music industry org. in the world involved in protecting copyright When CAAMA produced its Spotlight on India in 2010, only 7.5% of India was connected to the internet. In 2022 India was ranked as the 2nd largest online market worldwide, 2nd only to China. Now, 52% of India is connected, The 2024 Spotlight will tap new opportunities which were not accessible 14 years ago.  CAAMA’s 2024 Spotlight will provide fresh access to this industry, which is one of the world’s most established.

Sign in online here to participate in the pre-arranged, curated B2B meetings.

CAAMA’s International Marketplace trade hub will be open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM EDT during CMW.

You will find us in the room with all the flags.

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