Seven years ago, Sano Boi and A4 were living in the same hood but both were in different life tracks. One was a rapper, while the other was a professional dancer.
The two upcoming hip-hop artistes who grew up together in Kacyiru, played football together and went to similar neighborhood schools.
Being a month apart, Sano Boi was born on April 29, while A4 was born on May 22, the two share a strong love for hip-hop which is heavily inspired by rappers such as J.Cole, Kendrick Lamara and Meek Mill.
Sano Boi narrates that in 2012, he was part of The Blessed Rappers, a rap duo that he formed with his other friend, Gboy, but it did not last. It was then that Sano Boi felt the need to solely continue with what he had embarked on, hence going solo in 2014.
Meanwhile, A4, had been a professional dancer with Bright Fantasy, a former renowned dance group in Rwanda yet he very much enjoyed the hip-hop genere.
He smilingly recalls how after each dance competition, he would switch to hip-hop and freestyle for his colleagues out of excitement.
“I had the fire and the flow in me but I had no words to put it well.” More-so, “that style was known as, “gibberish” because I rapped nonsense,” A4 puts it amidst hilarity.
In 2015, he quit dancing and enrolled in rap competitions where he met up with his hood friend Sano Boi. The two developed an idea of working together and made a collabo and released a single known as Mama Told Me.
Both share that 2016 was an unstable year for them because they had no idea on how to work together. In as much, “it was a time of self-discovery while we worked on individual projects,” recalls the artists. At the time, A4 had a few singles including, Teen Power, and What We Like, whereas Sano Boi had released Scrupulous.
In 2017, they officially joined forces when they met Jompo Origami, an upcoming producer who has so far managed to produce their album known as Thankful, which consists of over fifteen songs, and an eleven songs mixtape titled, Pas Byose Visions.
“We have also collaborated with Jompo on his own album on the song Team Up,” shares the duo.
The two young men reveal that some of the songs both on the album and the mixtape, such as; Sakwe Sakwe, Saye Nooo, are about their childhood games, riddles, stories, and hood friendships among others.
Similarly, the album is a tribute to their hard work as it is very reflective of their whole rap career up until today.
“There’s recordings of fans’ shout outs expressing appreciation of all our hard work. Most important, the album also contains the theme of “Love” as defined by one’s 20’s,” they said.
The most captivating song on the album, known as “CFTA,” which in full translates to Continental Free Trade Area, is featured by a Namibian diplomat and rapper. The song was inspired by the African summit that was held here in Kigali on abolishing borders within the African continent.
“She came here for the summit as a Namibian diplomat, but we ended up with her in the studio,” shares the duo.
Currently, the two are both working on individual projects including solos.
“I have some solos including Visit Rwanda, 90’s Kid, Run It, among others,” said Sano Boi.
A4 on the other shares that he’s working on two solos namely; Switch, and Fall.
In time, the self-made artists shall be dropping a video of their song called “I Got A Call.” A4 chips in to share that the song is about how one wakes up in the morning to a good phone call.
“A fortunate moment of the day where an event organizer calls to offer an opportunity to us hustlers who are always on the grind,” adds Sano Boi.
The artists express that they make their music in English, so it soars as far, overseas and gains worldwide support thereby expressing the talented Rwandan hip-hop artists.
Moreover, the young men, together with Jompo Origami, started a neighborhood movement known as Kak City Movement, which represents Kacyiru.
It is in place that the duo intend to sensitise and empower the youth as well as provide space, where they can make their dreams come true. The project will motivate youngsters to think bigger, mostly for those who are involved in photography, modeling, dancing, making music and so much more in the creative arts.
The duo inspires fellow young Rwandansto keep believing in their dreams, and to push forward in whatever they embark on. Certainly, there’s going to be obstacles, rather this is to show that the journey has just started. In addition, young ones should love the works of their hands because when one gives out what they love, there’s no way other people will not love it.
They also encourage people in the mainstream to stretch a hand and support their own because it’s the only way the industry will grow bigger.
A4 and Sano Boi’s music, can be found on Rwandan music platform Kigaliciousmusic or via music platforms such as Spotify, Apple music, and Deezer.