Talent and entrepreneurship rolled into one

Dark Matter Entertainment is hard to define in one word. It is a group of young musicians who make music together but they are not really a band.
Angel and Dennis of Dark Matter. The New Times/ Courtesy photo
Angel and Dennis of Dark Matter. The New Times/ Courtesy photo

Dark Matter Entertainment is hard to define in one word. It is a group of young musicians who make music together but they are not really a band.

They have an album together but also have individual projects. They are a music group but one of them is located in Rwanda, another in New York and another in Ethiopia. One of them describes the group as a ‘movement’.

Angel Mutoni, Denis Muganza and Mike Kayihura came together when they were in their final year of high school in 2011. They shared a common interest, music, and figured that together they would get to where they wanted without overshadowing each other.  Just like Dennis who goes by the stage name ‘Darkesy’, Angel defines her style of music as hip-hop. Mike sings and plays the piano.  Dennis moved to America a few months back, Mike to Ethiopia and Angel is in Rwanda.

The boys got together first and Angel came along later. “I used to be more of a poet than a musician and they saw me perform at a Spoken Word event and asked me if I would be interested in doing music with them,” Mutoni says.

You would think that the Green Hills Academy graduates had it easy in terms of equipment and financing, but they didn’t. “We didn’t have it as easy as most people would expect. We began in a small studio in Dennis’s home that only had a computer, piano and a mixer,” Mutoni says.

The most impressive thing about the trio is their entrepreneurial skills and business mentality.  As young as they were they spotted an opportunity amongst their age mates who liked attending parties. “We began organising parties and performing at them which gave us popularity amongst most young people. We also had our own merchandise on sale, mostly T-shirts, and that gave us revenue to expand our studio. We had access to lots of young people who longed for a chance to attend parties so we took that opportunity to earn us some money,” Mutoni says.

In 2012, the group released their first music album, ‘Dim Witted’ which was their debut into commercial music and also served as a lesson.

“The album caused mixed reactions, some liked it and we had a fan base and others were a little skeptical since it was a new music style. It grew us musically and built our resolve to work harder,” 21-year-old Mutoni says.

Early this year in March, they organised a live hip-hop concert, ‘Look At My People’ which cleared all doubt of their abilities and skills.

Currently, Dennis, the group’s leader, is taking on two degrees; Music Industry and Mass communication in a University in New York and has just released a mix tape titled ‘Major Pain’ where he talks about the progress his country has made and the consequences of being a young Rwandan.

“In the mix tape, I talk about Rwanda as a war-torn country and the way it has progressed from the perspective of a young man born in 1994 living in the “2020 generation”. I also talk about what we as the youth must do, also paying close attention to both the negative and positive consequences of being born a Rwandan of this time are. In the compilation, I also talk about how I plan to conquer the global music scene and how I dream of helping my country’s development through my music and the entertainment industry and how there is almost no excuse for failure. Of course, I also talk about how painful it is to have to leave my country and DME in the pursuit of these achievements,” Dennis says.

Mutoni who is about to join campus is on a course to complete her music album after being derailed by a road accident that made her jaw immobile. “Dark Matter has enabled me to grow in several ways; musically, character-wise and it has given me the ability to work as a team.”

“We are still going to work together no matter the courses our lives take; we will always be Dark Matter though it is hard to be sure of what the future holds as we are still young and our lives are taking shape,” says Mutoni who is set to perform in Kampala this weekend. 

The group is currently taking in new members who have a similar style of music and similar ambitions and also organising a major concert at the end of this year.

 

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