As we bid farewell to 2017, The New Times looks back at the music industry and some of the songs and events that shaped the year.
From the shocking break up of boy band, Urban Boys, which saw Safi Niyibikora, aka Safi Madiba, one of the group members go solo, to Charly & Nina’s successful album launch, 2017 was quite a year for the music industry.
“So many great things happened; our artistes were recognised through award nominations. For example, Charly & Nina were nominated at the HiPipo Awards in Uganda and won. Knowless was nominated for an award in Ghana,” says Faustin Mugenzi, a radio and TV presenter at Contact TV.
DJ Toxxyk reckons that the return of US-based Rwandan artistes The Ben and Meddy was also a major milestone.
“2017 was a successful year for the music industry, Meddy and The Ben came back from the USA and apart from staging major concerts, they also collaborated with our local artistes in the process, producing hits that could take our artistes to the international market,” Toxxyk says.
The reunion of hip hop outfit Tuff Gang after four years in limbo can also be considered a key development in 2017. However, they are yet to prove their might again as members had gone solo. When Bull Dog and Green P appeared together on stage during the East African party in January, many hip hop lovers dreamed of the reunion.
When it was eventually confirmed, there was a lot of anticipation as fans wondered how the group would win its fan base back. It remains to be seen if they will. They are set to perform on January 1, 2018 during the East African party.
Below is a list of the top 10 songs that topped charts on local radio stations:
10. Nk'uko njya mbirota by Yverry produced by Bob Pro. Yverry is a pioneer of Nyundo School of Art. The song was released mid this year and landed him a spot on the local music scene, plus a place at Kina Music.
9. Igikomere by Tom Close featuring Bull Dog. Considered veterans of the R&B and hip hop genres, the song was produced by Monster Record and the video shot by Mariva. The song is part of Tom Close’s upcoming album.
8. Face to Face by Charly & Nina. The hit was shaped by Ugandan producer Nessim and is arguably one of the biggest songs of 2017. It hit regionally and earned the duo gigs in Europe. A successful album launch this month proved how 2017 was a great year for them.
7. I’m back by Jay-C featuring Bruce Melody. The song was produced by Junior Multisystem. The fusion of hip hop and R&B is a plus.
6. Superstar by Social Mulla. It was produced by Monster Records and got massive airplay.
5. Slowly by Meddy. This song garnered 1 million views and comments on YouTube in a short period of time. That alone gives it a place on this list.
4. Kami by The Ben featuring Kid Gaju. It was produced by Nessim in Uganda. Kami became a hit with 1.1 million views on YouTube also in a short period of time. It was the first collaboration The Ben had upon return from the US.
3. Too much by All Stars. While the video did not make the cut, the song featuring Jay Polly, Urban Boys, Uncle Austin, rapper Khalifan and new comer Marina, among others, earned massive airplay on radio stations and clubs.
2. Thank you by The Ben featuring Tom Close. This is arguably the collaboration of the year as the two friends came together to produce the song which got over 1 million views on You Tube in a matter of days.
1. Ikinya by Bruce Melody. This was by far the biggest song of 2017 and has since become a party anthem. It dominated airwaves and stayed at number one on many radio stations. The post presidential election remix Ntidukina became equally popular making the Coke Studio star the number 1 hit producer in 2017.