Why has the music industry’s export not grown? I have asked my self this question several times, at the same time basis thoughts have come to mind.
Despite the fact music in Rwanda started blooming as early as 2000, it has not made its roots to the East Africa.
Actually, when you listen to Rwandan music of late, you really appreciate work in the making. But the fact that it has not yet traded in the East Africa countries is still big question.
Last weekend, a certain local FM station was broadcasting a show in which only Ugandan songs were being played. As if that wasn’t strange enough, the show was in “Luganda”.
On the contrary, you cannot hear of any show on radio in Uganda broadcasting in “Kinyarwanda”.
Why…? Because the music has not sold outside country yet—in addition to that, Rwandan music is mostly composed and sung in Kinyarwanda, a language only understood by a few people in the region.
On the other the hand that’s why the Swahili vocals have made their way to the peak all around is because of the language known to many people in East Africa.
The lack of adequate music studios and producers is also another factor that has hindered Rwanda’s music industry from trading beyond boarders. Currently, there are only a few quality producers in the country, and yet there are very many artists.
The style sounds alike due to the fact that the producer is the same. A good example is from artists like; The Ben, Meddy, and Tom Close. All these artists, and many others, their music sound exactly the same, despite all there music lying in R&B genre.
There are few promoters in the country to drive the music industry to greater heights. The industry is still poor for artists to meet the financial demand by themselves.
Nevertheless, on national level the industry is doing so great, you realize there is a touch of originality that spices up the whole content and a unique talent blooming.
Sometime back, Rwandan music was rarely played in parties, and not heard nightclubs. But, today if they don’t play the music, then it’s a heck of a bore.
Mighty rock songs like; ‘Imporamutima”, “Amayobera” (by Meddy), “Naratomboye” (by King James), and big names like Tom Close, The Ben name them, are all set to boost the trade.
Although Hip hop is a rare style in the country’s music industry, a few guys, the likes of Riderman, Diplomat, K8T and Neg G have come in full gear, and seem to have mastered the trend.