Getting to know Matata

Jean-Christophe Matata grew up surrounded by the sounds and rhythms of Bujumbura. He made his first step into music at the age of 18, and gained public support, which helped him to develop his career as singer and songwriter. In 1986, Matata moved to Kigali. He quickly became famous and gained a huge fan base.
Jean-Christophe Matata
Jean-Christophe Matata

Jean-Christophe Matata grew up surrounded by the sounds and rhythms of Bujumbura.

He made his first step into music at the age of 18, and gained public support, which helped him to develop his career as singer and songwriter. In 1986, Matata moved to Kigali. He quickly became famous and gained a huge fan base.

In 1984, he joined the African Nile Band, a popular band at the time. After impressing Fabien Bizimana (the band leader), Matata was asked to produce an album for the band—and by 1987, he had already released three albums.

His first album ‘Amaso akunda’, was released April 1987, followed by ‘Ihorere Ntusarare’, and ‘Umpora iki. The trio were followed by his famous album ‘Murantunga’, which was released October, 1988. And the albums are still a hit in the region and probably beyond.

It is in Bujumbura that he released his fifth album “N’i Nyagasambu rirarema” in December, 1990, which earned him the award “Best Artist of Burundi” by the Boneka Magazine, published in Paris.

He sometimes sings about political injustices, and advocates for peace and security, especially in the Great Lakes Region. He has participated in various music festivals in Africa and Europe.

He sings in different languages, including Kirundi, Kinyarwanda, Swahili French and English, and his style ranges from reggae, traditional blues, Afro-pop, zouk, slow jam.

The songwriter/composer/producer, has worked with famous artists, including Cecile Kayirebwa, Benjamin Kayiranga, and Ben Rutabana (Rwandans), Jyckey Nyandwi (Burundi), Dorvangge Group (Gabon), Tony Vision (Nigeria), and Georgette Pantz (Cameroon).

Matata focuses his career on traditional music. And he urges all Africans, especially the artists living overseas to remember their grassroots, and be ambassadors of their respective countries wherever they are.

His dream was to become a famous footballer.
Matata is a son to Matata Binoit and Marie Theresa Mukabaziga. He is the first born in the family of five children.

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