Meet Nep Queenz, Rwanda’s first all-female band out to defy odds

Nep Queenz is the latest addition to the Nep Family. The six-piece band is a new force to be reckoned with. / Courtesy.

Their first appearance was during last month’s Kigali Reggae Festival that aired live on Isibo Television. 

The six member all-female band pulled off an electric reggae performance alongside their counterparts Neptunez Band and Nep DJs.

 

Their debut performance proved that they are an ultra-modern contemporary girls’ band that is joining the music industry with a difference in style, approach, attitude and charisma.

 

Nep Queenz is the latest addition to the Nep Family, which has a catalogue of brands like Nep films, Nep Djs, Nep records, Neptunez Band and many others. These are all under the umbrella of RG Consult, a local creative, production, experiential marketing and Events Company that is behind the popular Kigali Jazz Junction music series.

 

The company has given attention to many growing talents and events and this particular one is the first ever all Female Live Band playing outfit in Rwanda if not the region at large.

Founded this year, RG-Consult’s CEO, Remmygious Lubega, said that the girls were hand-picked, underwent vigorous training, mentoring and nurturing that they deserve to showcase their artistry and also compete on continental and global stages.

“The band comprises six talented ladies so far and still growing more talents that will be joining in to achieve the desired goal of bringing more female instrumentalists on a stage that has for ages been more male dominated.

As the world and Africa in general work towards empowering Women to take centre stage in the development of any society and communities, Nep Queenz is one of those testimonies to realize this vision,” he explained.

Two weeks later, the band released their debut single— a gospel track called, “Uri Nkuru”, produced by Iyzo Pro, to launch their recording vocation to the public and are yet to release the video.

About the members

Esther Ishimwe, the band leader, who doubles as the bassist and singer, is pretty much one of the youngest at just 20 years of age. She has been behind the hand scouting and selecting of the team. 

Ishimwe brings with her leadership skills in uniting, managing schedules, and musically aligning everyone according to their potentials and passions.

Their singer and pianist, Christmas Ruth Kanoheli hails from a church background and is also aspiring to become one of the first and best female producers in Rwanda. The 23-year-old is also a lead singer, song composer and writer.

Prossy Uwase, 23, is a self-taught alto saxophone and singer. She took interest in this instrument in 2016, and since then she has never looked back. 

Uwase comes with a great music background drawing inspiration from her sister who she admires and many international acts like Kirk Whalum. She also makes sure the girls have the right wardrobe done to the best of their ability.

The band’s drummer and a songwriter, Delphine Tuyisenge, is also from a staunch Christian background. Her great energy compliments the band partaking a very male dominated instrument, while giving it her dedication and passion.

Neema Rehema Umutesi, the singer and acoustic guitarist, picked interest in music from the family where their father, mother and siblings play musical instruments and sing in Church.

The youngest of them all, Queen Agape Niyondamya, is the band’s percussionist, songwriter and also a lead singer. 

Having attended music school, the 18-year-old contributes an afrocentric voice and instrument to the band’s repertoire.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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