Rwandan singer Yvan Buravan has emerged winner of the 2018 Prix Découvertes RFI, an annual competition involving artistes from across Africa.
The competition, which started in February this year, saw 1,500 contestants compete for the prestigious award. In July, he performed in Belgium, and he made it to the top ten finalists.
He was announced the winner on November 8, making him the first Rwandan artiste to win the award.
Reacting to the news, the singer excitedly told The New Times that the award will contribute a lot to his career.
“The award means a lot to me and it is a big step we made as Rwandans, because this is not just me but the whole country. This is an international prize and I think it’s a huge step that will help people out there know more about our music,” he said.
Buravan is expected to travel to Paris, France to receive his award. For his achievement, Buravan will be awarded 10,000 euros, and facilitated to do a music tour across Africa, and one in Paris.
He was faced competition from Guinea’s Azaya; Barakina, from Niger; Republic of Congo’s Biz Ice; Gasha, of Cameroon, Haiti’s Geraldo; Iyenga, from DR Congo; Togo’s Ozane, and Senegal’s Maabo and OMG.
This year’s Prix Découvertes RFI awards were determined by a panel of music experts including Charlotte Dipanda, who chaired the jury, Juliette Fievet, Claudy Siar, Amobe Mevegue, and DJ Face Maker.
Other Rwandan artistes who have previously participated in the same competition include Mani Martin in 2013 as well as The Ben and Angel Mutoni in 2016.
Arguably the fastest rising local R&B star at the moment, Yvan Dushime Burabyo, better known as Yvan Buravan, is a singer, songwriter and guitarist.
His potential first came to the limelight in 2009 during the ‘Rwandatel Jingle Contest’, a local countrywide music talent search, which he won. He was only 14 then, and decided to first complete school before he could venture into music as a career.
In 2015, he released his debut ‘Injyana’, a single featuring Gabby Umutare. He went ahead and released several other hits, including ‘Malaika’, a track that has captured the attention of music lovers not only in Rwanda, but also beyond.
His other singles include ‘Bindimo’, ‘Majunda’ and ‘Urwo Ngukunda,’, ‘Just A Dance’ featuring Tanzania singer AY, and his latest ‘Si Belle.’
Recently, he recorded a cover of Nerea, a song by Kenya’s music band Sauti Sol. The video went viral.
He is the last born in a family of six; five boys and a girl, and born to Michel Burabyo and Elisabeth Uwikunda. Buravan went to Ecole La Colombière and Le Petit Prince for his primary and secondary school studies, respectively.
He also attended University of Rwanda’s College of Business and Economics.
The 23-year-old says is he was influenced by American Grammy-winning singer Bruno Mars, and English singer/record producer Ed Sheeran, among others.