Sam Rwibasira is a 30-year-old gospel singer, worship leader, instrumentalist and music teacher who has dedicated his life to serving God. The year 2011 still lingers in his mind, as it is when he started to believe in his talent and choose to use his vocals to worship God. That magical year, Rwibasira remembers his classmates getting mind blown the first time they heard him sing that they decided to fundraise to enable him record his first song, Umugisha. “That incident raised my fire for singing. I knew God had designed me for so much and I had to let Him use me as a vessel. That is why even when I feel down, I am encouraged to keep going,” he stresses. According to him, having people that believed in him and supported him for the first time, was exceptional. The gospel singer relocated to Italy one year ago, where he is married and still ministers to God. He has realised how expensive producing music is in Italy as a singer pays for the time spent in the studio not according to a song. He stresses that a video song can go for at least €5,000. This is why he anticipates pursuing music in university to be skilled in music production to make his own music. Most musicians in Italy have their studios at home. Earning from gospel music Rwibasira explains that with YouTube, some gospel artists have started earning from their music though he warns fellow gospel singers not to focus on earning money, but to the purpose for which they sing. For him, when gospel artists get inspired by huge followings on social media and people, they lose out on the inspiration of God. He believes that God must be the number one inspiration of gospel ministers. The songbird’s message to gospel singers who would like to make money out of their talents is to get jobs or startup businesses that can support their music because gospel music can’t be a business. It’s for this reason that he started offering music lessons online to earn money on the side. “Gospel artists ought not to ask for money to serve if they are invited to churches or concerts. One shouldn’t refuse to sing on condition for money,” Rwibasira states. His singing journey Growing up from a Christian family, Rwibasira fell in love with music and playing instruments at a young age. At the age of 13 and 14, he started playing the piano. Although he longed to be skilled in both singing and playing the musical instruments, no one discovered his talent, and therefore, he wasn’t supported in any way he wished. It was upon him to train himself how to sing, and control his voice. After high school, he got some vocal training from Nyundo School of Music. At that point, he longed to imitate a number of endowed artists like the American Gaither vocal band, and others. Italy being mostly a catholic country, Christian music doesn’t have a big audience, since some people don’t even believe that God exists, Rwibasira has no doubt that winning their souls requires prayers. He has so far released one album, Naramubonye, comprising of songs such as Witinya, Rwa rutare, Amatsiko, and others. Purpose for his music The songbird is of the view that as he sings, he wants people to understand the gospel of Jesus, communicate joy, and share his spiritual life with them. While writing his songs, he is inspired by God, and the Bible. He believes that we all have three callings, that is, to receive Christ, tell others what we know about Jesus so as they reform, and live exemplary lives. The singer is currently working on his second album, and looks forward to organising a concert in Rwanda. His songs are available on Spotify and YouTube.