Danny Nanone on how music school made him a better artiste

Danny Nanone has become a household name as HipHop music continues gaining a big fanbase and constant airplay across Kigali’s local radio and TV stations and in night clubs as well.

Although he has already established himself among Rwanda’s top Hip Hop artistes over the years, the singer, born Danny Ntakirutimana, has put everything aside to study music at the Muhanga-based Nyundo School of Music targeting to add professional skills to his talent as he looks to push his music career to new heights.

He spoke Sunday Magazine’s Eddie Nsabimana on what has made him a different artiste since joining the music school in 2018.

Why did you decide to study music even when you were already an established artiste?

Nothing special! It was just my dream. I studied sciences in high school because it was my parents’ choice. I did not have a chance to make a choice. But I had to do music secretly because I was aware my parents would not like it if they got to know. 

My inspiration to attend a music school came from Sebeya band because their professional skills in music made our performances very easy and well-staged during Guma Guma Super Star roads shows.

That is where the idea came and, by chance, when I approached Mighty Popo [the school director], he welcomed me.

We understand that you went to Nyundo for short course trainings, how did you end up a full time music student?

I went to the school with a plan to attend the music school for short course trainings but, when I arrived there, I realized that there was so much important skills that I could not have captured in one-year and I decided to stay on a full time basis.

I had to take more time but I hope to complete my studies by January next year.

What new skills have you got at the school so far?

I learnt a lot of things like production, music business, playing musical instruments. We study all of these because music is a wide industry that needs special understanding at all contexts and it requires focus and concentration for better understanding.

What makes you different from the artiste you were before you went to music school?

In one word, I can now teach music well and make someone know it. But before, I was just singing because I had the talent and love for it but I never knew what really defines music.

But ever since I attended the music school, I acquired professional skills about it, to the level that I can present the music to a professional world of music. I now know the music terminologies and what they stand for.

The level at I which I am at the moment allows me write my music using notes.

Your fans rarely see you performing at concerts or hear any new songs from you, is it that your heart is fully focused on music studies?

I did not change the focus. I am rather studying music to give more emphasis on what I do. I do have songs in store. What changed is how one fares on the music market, which is my case.

Sometimes when we are working behind the scenes, people think we are not in the industry. They think that I am not active because they don’t see me on posters for performances, radio and TV talk shows but, in fact, I am active.

What achievements do you credit for the skills you got from Nyundo School of Music so far?

A simple example is that I am one of the artistes invited to sing the National Anthem at national and international conferences while we also have live performances at a number of big corporate events, which I don’t think would have been the case if I have not been at the music school.

Standing before heads of state singing the National Anthem is an achievement which you cannot take for granted.

That is something I never did before I went to a music school. Before, I did not even know where to start if asked to sing it nor would they have trusted that I would perform it well.

Would you advise your fellow artiste to go to a professional music school?

Everyone has their own destiny and people have different dreams and paths. It is not a bad idea to study music but I believe our artistes are mature enough to make the right choice.

There are artistes who become successful without going to music school but there also examples of artistes who succeeded because they went to a music school. So it is up to them to decide their path to success.