At only 22, Angel Mutoni has already made her mark on the Rwandan music scene. Born in Uganda in a family of two, Mutoni, who is the eldest, went to La Colombière and Green Hills Academy in Kigali. In 2011, she joined her schoolmates under ‘Dark Matter Entertainment’ to provide entertainment to the Rwandan youth living in Kigali but also to showcase their musical talents.
In the same year, Mutoni started performing as a spoken word artist with Spoken Word Rwanda, a monthly event that gives people an opportunity to listen to slam poetry. She became one of the regular performers and through that, she has gained a lot of public speaking skills and stage presence.
She credits Spoken Word Rwanda performances for building her confidence, stage presence and developing her public speaking skills.
In the late 2012, Mutoni released her very first solo recorded song and video called “Bad Girl Swag”. After that she released several songs including ‘Sema Sema’, ‘No filter’, ‘Tell ‘em’, ‘Up’ among others.
Her style, is a mix of hip hop, RnB and soul.
Even though her music is far from traditional and conventional, Mutoni tries to include hints of Rwandan traditional instruments in her songs.
The young female rapper writes about love. She hopes, to motivate women, and young Rwandan girls in particular, to take control of their own destiny.
“I was once a very shy girl. I looked down on myself a lot. Now I want to try to uplift others and show them that everything is possible. That’s the type of message I like to hear so that’s what I try to send out as well,” she says.
Mutoni is an example that you can do whatever you set your mind on regardless of the difficulties.
She has managed to make herself a name in the hip hop industry that is male-dominated not only in Rwanda, but in the whole world.
She is also proving to many Rwandans who think that hip hop culture goes hand in hand with indecent lifestyle that rapping does not necessarily lead you down a bad path. This, she says is not just a hobby or something to do because you have nothing else but instead it is a way to make a living.
She says that over the years, the Rwandan music scene has started gaining recognition, but she says that the main challenge remains getting financial resources.
“You need people to help you push your name out there,” she says. This comes in the form of media promotion and music videos. On a more positive note, she strongly believes that the Rwandan music scene is going to be big in a few years. “I am hoping we’ll make it big, I want to put Rwanda on the map,”. she reveals.
Umutoni dreams of touring the world to represent her country. “Most of the time when people hear my music, they think; Oh no, she’s not Rwandan, she speaks English (and French), she raps, and it’s hip hop, so I want to make sure that in the future, I incorporate Kinyarwanda so that even if I go abroad they say: Oh, she’s from Rwanda, it is my biggest dream,” she says.
The young talent recently released a free mixtape online and is working on a couple of music videos.