SERGE ISHIMWE MUTABAZI, also known by his stage name ‘Paintedblvck’, is a 22-year-old rising rapper and university student who started doing music as a hobby, later turning his passion into a career. “I started doing music as therapy for some of the things I was going through, it was something I would just do to ease my mind but before I knew it, music was already becoming my passion and at the same time helping me live another day,” he shared. Mutabazi says that his targeted audience is the lost souls, people that are in search of happiness and peace in the little that doesn’t require much. “I came to realise that, a lot of people need healing from everything they’re going through, and that healing is not necessarily physical or mental therapy, some people just need happiness and peace, that’s what I’m trying to do with my music,” Mutabazi said. “Making music heals me too from depression, anxiety and music gives me energy when I am working out or driving, I stay motivated by the love I have for it,” he added. He started doing music in 2020 and that is when he released his first single. What got him into music was the need to break the low confidence he had for himself and the comfort zone he found hard to come out of. “I’ve always wanted to make music but was never really courageous enough to actually get into studio, even with few of my friends pressuring me to do it I couldn’t, so last year during the lockdown I had nothing else to do so I started writing off YouTube type beats and next thing I knew I was like 3 songs in, I decided to go to the studio right after the lockdown, and turns out I wasn’t bad at all,” he recalls. So far Mutabazi has 24 songs on his album ‘Pain & Fiction’ that he owns and others that are not yet released. He writes all his songs and has worked with well-known artistes like Kenny K Shot, ET Rw, Arnaud Gray, Nikita Heaven, and many others. His top songs are ‘Ni Uko Biza’, ‘1010’, ‘Moment of Silence’, ‘Off the Wheel Pt.2’, ‘Pain & Fiction’. Apart from music Mutabazi also has other careers that he is trying to give a lot of time, he does art (visual art) and fashion designing, his content is black and white and that is where the name ‘Paintedblvck’ came from, a name that could define his unique content. “I had and still have a lot of insecurities, at times it’s hard for me to like what I do until it’s proven otherwise by others, it hard because it is like looking for validation from others that my music is good but we all have passed there and its part of the process of learning,” he says. Career-wise and spiritually, he thinks he is not there yet “I see myself in a place where I will be able to influence a whole generation of young people to be able to break generational curses and be able to make a life for themselves I am fully aware that anything is achievable,” he said.