In January this year, upcoming dancehall singer Asinah Erra vowed that 2018 was going to be a defining year for her music as she was looking to revive her career.
In an interview, Asinah, real name Asinah Mukasine, said that financially, music had not really worked for her because she did not have a manager and that that it had proved difficult to do everything by herself, to push her music to another level.
However, that did not stop her from continuing to fight for her music, releasing singles like ‘Do It’, ‘Strength of a Woman’, ‘Mapenzi’, and’ Iz’ubu’, a collaboration with former Family Squad member, Spaxx.
This year, she managed to release two songs, ‘My Love’ featuring rapper Khalfan, and ‘Undi wowe’, a collaboration with Jay Polly.
The singer is currently showing signs of strength and comeback in her music, after she released her first song ‘Mama Africa’ last week, under her new manager, Merley Boniface, from Lagos, Nigeria.
He has been her manager to close to a month now.
Merley, 22, is now staying in Kigali as he looks to rebrand Asinah in terms of management and promotion of her music and help her realise her dream of becoming one of the most celebrated musicians not only in Rwanda but in the region.
“Now I am in Rwanda to globalise the country’s music industry, starting with Asinah. She is the primary reason for my journey from Nigeria,” Merley said in an interview with The New Times.
Merley says he is ready and looking forward to working with different players from the industry and find opportunities from the challenges facing Rwandan music.
Merley is a music entrepreneur who has been, and is still, behind some of the biggest brands in Nigeria and believes he can replicate his experience by turning Asinah into a big brand.
“I would love my ambition to be seen than heard and I want to be somebody that can deliver more than I can promise,” he said.
Asinah is a dancehall artiste but her new song is produced in an AfroHouse style. For her, that does not mean that she totally changed her style.
“Most of my songs are dancehall but I did an Afro-house style in ‘Mama Africa’ to give my fans something different. That does not mean that I quit my style completely because I can still do dancehall but I can even do a different style,” she said.
Merley himself played a big role in advising Asinah to change the style while working on ‘Mama Africa’ to see if they can do something worth selling. He is the one behind the lyrics and the direction of the song produced by producer Nikola.
“Since she has been doing dancehall yet her music market does not reach the international level, I suggested we do another style. I appreciate her style but the fact that it is new there is need for a new idea, or try a new style. This is not the only style, we can do as many styles as we can,” said Merley.
In a couple of days they have been working together, Asinah already has confidence in Merley that he will help her a lot in giving her music a new direction.
“I had no manager before and I needed someone like Merley because he is a hardworking person. So far, he has helped me a lot and he is the one behind my new song, but, with him, more is yet to come,” she said.
Asinah added that she is confident that she will consistently do her music and says she already has more music projects in store that she’s working on. She is currently working on a video of the song with a Tanzanian producer.