A string of local musicians have been lined up for performances at the inaugural Chinese Time Show, slated for next month in Kigali.
The show is scheduled for February 10, as a celebration of the Chinese New Year, which falls on the same date. It will take place at Pacha Club in Kimironko (former Rosty Club) from 1:30 pm -4pm.
The two hour show will see the Rwandan musicians perform renditions of Chinese songs, spiced up with their own compositions. The show is being organised by Guo Lin, a Chinese national currently living in Kigali.
To come up with the list of performers, she scoured several hotels, bars and entertainment spots and watched different local bands and musicians during their live performances.
She said that, apart from celebrating the Chinese New Year, the show also seeks to demystify Chinese music and Chinese culture to the Rwandan public.
When The New Times visited the musicians during their rehearsal session in Kacyiru on Monday afternoon, the sound of beautiful Chinese pop music and melodies filled the air.
While some of the musicians belted out Chinese songs playing from a laptop, others tried ti master the lyrics to the songs they will be presenting. All their efforts seemed focused on learning the music of China. One of the musicians repeatedly played an audio clip of a Chinese voice on his phone.
“Time show is like what Rwandans always do in foreign countries during occasions like Rwanda Day,” explained Eric Mucyo after his rehearsal session.
“It will be the first concert and it is just to celebrate the Chinese New Year, and also to show the Rwandan public how China also has great music just like America or anywhere else.”
Djedje, another of the musicians described the upcoming show as ‘challenging, but worthwhile’:
“This is a completely new horizon, because in my life I never thought I would sing Chinese. But as a musician it’s always good to make some new discoveries and new challenges and see how it goes. Honestly I only knew Chinese folk music. I didn’t know they also do modern forms of music like hip hop, soul, so it was a surprise to me but it’s also my pleasure.” Djedje revealed that mastering the lyrics in Chinese was the hardest part of the rehearsals:
“It is really hard, because there is nothing in the Chinese language that I can compare with any English word. But it’s fun. But it helps that in my music career, I’ve tried everything –from Arabic songs, Indian songs, and now Chinese.”
Mucyo added: “Our purpose is to get this connection with them (Chinese) and also to show that Rwandans can also sing. In music there are no borders. You can sing in any language. We will sing Chinese songs that we have been rehearsing. Someone helped us learn the language and we will try our best. It’s not easy but we will do it. We will add some Rwandan songs to the playlist because we are Rwandans and we have to show who we are, but mostly it will be Chinese songs.”
“We will play jazz, rock, reggae, and then start Chinese songs which will close the show,” Djedje concluded.