THERE’S AN IMMENSE WAVE of influence and inspiration in Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and its sub genres coming from South Africa, and it’s absolutely undeniable. The music genre now lives everywhere in Rwanda, from high school talent shows, to street festivals and mega concerts held in the capital of Rwanda, House Music is a new trend keeping partygoers on the club dance floor. EDM and its sub genres such as Afro House Music partly traces its origins to Chicago in the early 1980s and the disco music movement that ruled dance floors in the 1970s. As disco faded into memory, this new genre was born out of the likes of Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy who started playing and producing music for the dance floor with melody and harmony born purely out of electronic sounds such as synthesizers and drum machines. A new breed of house music is now taking root in Rwanda, after being discovered by young choreographers who used the genre in their dancing videos in the late 2000s. The sound caught the ear of young producers like Eloi El who added his touch on the genre by fusing modern electro with Afro-house through high-quality productions that rival those on the international dance scene. In his recent interview with The New Times, Eloi noted that EDM is not just a genre, but a culture and movement which gave birth to some of the trending music styles today, including deep house music which he specialised in. The youngster believes that EDM and its subgenres are getting a wide fan base and winning hearts of Rwandans based on streams and times the genre is played in pubs and clubs of Kigali. “It is hard to go for a night out these days and go home without listening to a house or EDM song. This sound lives everywhere and people like it. It’s a whole movement!” said Eloi El, Rwandan EDM producer and artiste who worked with American singer Daria V and renowned record labels like Get The Sound, LoudKult, Spectrum Recordings and We Are Diamond. In 2020, Eloi was the most-streamed Rwandan artiste on Spotify with more than seven million streams, making EDM the most streamed genre in Rwanda in 2020. For Habz, member of the Nep DJs Duo who is among the best EDM and house deejays in Rwanda, the music style blends certain African Elements with the internationally renowned House beats, something that makes it attract every music listener. He said that it is a genre of all kinds of people from different cultures and backgrounds, which is another reason behind its takeover in the country. “We play EDM in most of our sessions and people vibe and dance to it. It is a music style that changes the mood in any kind of place,” he added. Habs alongside DJ Berto are the brains behind a monthly event dubbed Rave party which aims at showcasing EDM and increasing its popularity in Rwanda. According to Berto, more efforts are needed to make EDM a big movement in Rwanda that can cater for not only Rwandans, but thousands of tourists who visit the country every month. “We want to make the Rave party a big show that will be hosting some of the best EDM DJs like David Gueta and Martin Garixx. This will allow tourists to taste different sounds produced in Rwanda,” Berto noted. DJ Marnaud, DJ k’ru, DJ Pyfo and many others are also playing the soulful genre and its sub genres including Amapiano all over the country through their mixes and live performances. According to S3PH, a Kigali based EDM producer, Rwanda needs more local artists and producers to blend unique Rwandan style of music with House, to guarantee its international marketability. “We can mix it with our own traditional sounds to make our own sub-genre. It has worked in South Africa, it will work here too,” S3PH said. With tracks like Unbreakable by Eloi El, Grateful by Ritha Ange Kagaju, Amanywa Ni’joro and many others, EDM and its sub-genres might be the next trend in Rwandan music industry.