He has been quite silent in the music industry for quite some time, but 31-year-old singer Kid Gaju is not letting his musical career take a long hiatus.
The singer, born Justin Muhinyuza, has bounced back from a musical break with a single, “Nzirikana” and is busy working on his first album, which he plans to release in July.
Born in Uganda, the “I Do” singer launched his career in music in 2012, at a tender age of 20 years and his first single, “Mama Bebe” gave him big exposure both in Rwanda and Uganda, making him one of the promising singers on the rise.
“The song put me on the music map and gave me a good start. I remember many knew the song before they got to know who sung it. It was bigger than I was at the time, playing on radio stations and TVs,” he recalls.
The song opened him a lot of opportunities to work with a number of musicians from Uganda like Cindy in Gahunda, Radio and Weasel in Tornado and Toniks in Toka Zamani.
He says it has been an exciting experience to work with Ugandan musicians and has got to learn a lot from them but now he is fully focused back home.
“I have been doing my music in Rwanda and Uganda, which made it easy for me to balance both markets,” says Kid Gaju.
As many Rwandans warmed up to his music, Kid Gaju teamed up with then big artistes like Urban Boys, Riderman, Ama G the Black for a remix of his first song which gained big airplay from local radios.
The exposure he got from the song was enough for him to release more tracks like, “Ngabira Agatabi”, a collaboration with Jay Polly, “I Do”, “It’s Ok”, featuring Urban Boys, “Ngwino”, and “Kami”, a collaboration with US-based Rwandan singer, The Ben, which by far remains his biggest song.
The singer then went into a hiatus, with a lot of speculation going on, until recently when he released, “Nzirikana”, his latest song. “Nzirikana” is currently gaining airplay around clubs and radio stations.
The song is part of his album, which he plans to release in July.
The singer is quite busy with Monster Records, a recording studio courtesy of Producer Zizou Alpacino, working on his upcoming album and three singles are so far out.
While he has proved to be talented, many have been critical of Kid Gaju’s lack of consistency, sometimes taking up to three years to release a song.
The singer admits it is all because the music market [here in Rwanda] is not that competitive to release songs, one after another, which is why he chooses to spend enough time working on a full album which he plans to release in July.
“I have been working on my album for the last two or three years. Of course I was not active in releasing songs but I have been busy in the studio and I am about to present to my fans a big project I have been cooking. It is really a big package for my fans and that is what I want to contribute to the music industry in general,” he says.
While he rarely shows up in concerts, Kid Gaju says that he has fresh plans to create a bond with his fans this year with lots of performances, mainly part of his album tour.
“Everything happens in its own time. I can’t show up at whatever concert I am invited to. That is the job of event organisers. I may not have been meeting up with my fans very often but that is one of my new priorities this year,” he added.
Gaju believes the future of his music is good despite being written off by many.
“The feedback for my music is good so far. For instance, I had been getting a lot of thumbs up from my fans. It’s really a motivation for me and that is why I am in the studio to deliver more to my audience who never let me down,”
“I owe a lot to my fans and this is my time to reward their patience with good music for them. They are the ones we work for and at the same time the ones who can put us at the level we want to be. I am always focused on improving my music and I am going to increase performances at different concerts because I now have what to offer to my fans,” he said.
The singer has in recent days been in the news for all the wrong reasons –particularly his ‘beef’ with fellow singer Safi Madiba, whom he accuses of extortion and exploitation. The former Urban Boy’s band member has advised Kid Gaju to quit whatever drugs he uses and focus on producing more music.