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Sintex, Rwanda’s afro-dancehall star on the rise

It is not easy to build a name for yourself, away from the connection to an already popular sibling, for example, international singer Solange Knowles who is yet to break away from her megastar sister’s shadow, Beyoncé.

Locally, a fairly known Sintex started his career when his brother Arthur Nkusi, the comedian and radio personality, was already popular, meaning that he would be constantly be known as ‘Arthur’s brother’ — always in the shadow of his brother.


As if that was not tough enough, Sintex chose dancehall as genre when most upcoming artistes were into hip hop, Afro beat and R&B. But the artiste says he found love in dancehall music.


He is a big fan of Mowzey Radio, Chris Brown, Lucky Dube, Michael Jackson and Christopher Martin, whose music styles are different, but dancehall remains the singer’s favourite.


“I don’t limit myself when doing music but dancehall is my favourite style because it suits my taste. I believe success in life comes when you do what you love most,” he explains.

Born in 1989, Sintex dedicated his life to music at a tender age while pursuing his secondary school studies in Uganda.

“I shaped my vision around music as my dream career before I even finished secondary school studies. I had to study first but I already had a plan to do music way before,” he says.

Born Arnold Kabera, Sintex has been doing music since 2012, but with little visibility, just days after completing his secondary school studies in Uganda where he was popular as a dancer.

He recorded his first song ‘Akabazo’ at Unlimited Records. After recording just two songs, Sintex met Kenyan music producer Castello, who linked him to Goethe Institute for a performance and networking.

The German community, which witnessed his performance, liked his music and gifted him with studio equipment to start his own studio.

“My performance left everyone admiring my music. They gave me studio equipment that I needed just because they liked my performance. I started my own studio right after that,” he says.

Sintex thought he would flourish in music since he could record songs at his own studio. However, he could not manage it and ended up selling it in 2015.

Since 2016, his profile has been on a steady rise, thanks to a handful of singles and collaborations like ‘Ndabyimenyera’, ‘Let’s talk about love’, and ‘Why’, as well as collabos with a string of local musicians.

The afro dancehall artiste has had success with the release of his singles ‘Byina’, ‘Icyoroshye’, and ‘Ndorera’ among others.

A year later, the singer agreed to do music under Arthur Nation’s management, owned by his comedian brother.

Under Arthur Nation’s management, Sintex released songs like ‘You and I’, ‘Icyoroshye’, ‘Superstar’ and ‘Twifunze’ among others. The latter helped the singer earn a growing fan base across the country and was, as a result, invited to perform at big concerts like Iwacu Muzika, Kigali Jazz Junction among others.

The singer’s exposure continues to grow since he joined Arthur Nation, and he says he feels grateful that his brother’s helping hand pushed and is still pushing him to the level he could not have reached working without management.

“He (Arthur) has been there for me not just as a manager but a brother. It’s been good working with his management as brothers, but our relationship has been far from sentimental so we can each achieve our goals and I think this is why I am at this level today,” he says.

In March, the singer released a six-song Extended Play (EP), dubbed ‘My Vibes’, to ‘respond to growing requests from his fans’.

His EP is made of songs like ‘Calculator’, ‘Jangolo’, ‘Love Story’, ‘Friday’, ‘Gahunda’ and ‘Midnight Call’, all of which were recorded by different producers including Knox Beat, Papito, Ibalab, Bob Pro, Holybeat, and Danny Beats.

As a dancehall singer and songwriter, Sintex says he wants to be remembered as someone who played a big role in pushing the genre to a level where local musicians can compete in the world of dancehall.

“I want to inspire the young generation to do music which can go beyond borders. I am pushing for my career, but the future is for our younger brothers and sisters in music and, together, we can do better and make it our own,” he says.

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