Alyn Sano on evolving as a musician

Alyn Sano after the interview at The New Times offices in Gishushu. Photo by Faustin Niyigena

Nine years after embarking on her musical journey, Alyn Sano held her first major gig at the Rwanda Revenue Authority auditorium in Kimihurura on Sunday night, June 3.

The well-attended jazz and soul-themed live concert showcased Sano’s evolution from a church chorister to the live band act she is today.

At the show, she performed with her band, and also shared the stage with Mani Martin and Hope Irakoze, two musicians she has always looked up to.

“The concert was really fun. I did my own songs and also a few covers,” Sano revealed during an interview with The New Times on Wednesday afternoon.

She described Mani Martin and Hope Irakoze as role models. “I like the way they sing and I have always wanted to sing as good as them.”

Sano is grateful for all the connections and support that has helped her in her musical journey thus far, without which she believes she would be nowhere.

Her concert on Sunday was made possible by Positive Productions, which provided sound, stage and lighting for the event, and sponsorship by Carnegie Melon University Africa.

Started in church

Sano started singing in 2011, two years after joining College Adventist de Gitwe. A friend introduced her to the school choir.

She stayed on her musical path even after relocating to Groupe Scolaire St. Aloys in Rwamagana.

“I continued singing with the same choir because they had a sister choir in Kigali which students join after leaving school.”

Beyond gospel music

Today, she does both gospel and secular music, depending on the occasion.

After high school, the need to make ends meet and to finance her college education saw her diversify from singing in the Adventist choir to covering secular concerts as well.

In 2015, she was invited by Hope Irakoze to sing with him at a comedy show at the Kigali Serena Hotel.

However, she got in trouble with her church choir after pictures of her during her performance were published. She had to make a choice.

“I decided to continue with secular shows because I loved it and it was getting me more money for tuition,” she said. 

She kept building her network which in turn earned her more gigs.

The same year (2015) she joined the Akillah Institute for Women to study Hospitality Management.

In 2016, she recorded and released her first song, Witinda, which she describes as her best song to date.

It took her another year before she released a follow up song – Ntako bisa, and early this year she dropped Naremewe wowe.

Currently, she performs with her band every Friday at Repub Lounge in Kimihurura.


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