When he’s not making mega hits, he’s probably on promotional tours or grooming upcoming artistes under Ibisumuzi Studio Records. Emery Gatsinzi aka Riderman, also known as the “Godfather” of Rwandan hip-hop, has won several accolades including Primus GumaGuma Super Star season 3. A happily married man and father, Riderman shares with Dean Karemera the lighter side of his life.
1. As an artiste you listen to many musicians and you are probably influenced by some. If you had the chance, which international musician would you collaborate with?
As an artiste it’s really difficult to single out one person that I would really want to collaborate with because many artistes have inspired me in one way or another. However, if I had one chance, I would choose Youssoupha Mabiki, aka Youssoupha. He is French of Congolese origin. He is a visionary rapper and has collaborated with artistes such as Tabu Ley Rochereau, La Fouine, Fally Ipupa and Corneille among others.
2. When you look back, what advice would you give yourself as a teen?
As teenagers we always take things for granted and don’t look at the bigger picture, maybe it’s because of age. If I had to go back in time, I would tell the teen Emery Gatsinzi to dream big, work hard, spread love and have fun.
3. Movies or books?
They are both good options for relaxing and learning. I would encourage anyone to balance both but I lean towards movies more than books.
4. In your line of work, there are several things that are usually said about you. What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard?
There’s a time back in the day when people were alleging that am an ‘illuminati’ agent. It was hilarious but also absurd. I just laughed at it but it is ridiculous to think that anyone who is successful is illuminati, if at all it exists.
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
Laughs. I hope I don’t get to sleep on the couch but that would be Jessica Alba.
6. Would you rather dine in or eat out?
I prefer having dinner at home. Apart from reasons such as healthy eating, budgeting or even learning how to prepare meals, eating at home with someone gives you many chances to have a glimpse into their daily lives and how they relate to people. Sometimes, it’s more about getting to know a person up-close.
7. Your ideal woman; Natural or makeup?
I like them natural. There’s something uniquely beautiful about a woman who maintains a natural look or tries to keep her makeup minimal.
8. Your songs are in several languages, how many languages do you speak?
I’m multilingual. I speak Kinyarwanda, French, English and Swahili.
9. The world has come a long way from the Stone Age era. What do you think is the greatest invention?
I think the greatest invention is electricity. Have you realised how the world comes to a standstill when electricity goes off or how people are putting a lot of effort in extending electricity to remote areas? That implies that electricity has ceased being a mere want, it’s a need that we can’t live without.
10. What’s the one thing you could eat all year?
Rice. It’s the one thing that I could eat all year.
11. If you had 24 hours to live, how would you spend them?
It’s actually a difficult question to answer because you can only know when reality hits you. But I think I would gather my friends and family for prayers, then I would make calls to distant relatives and other friends and lastly, I would seek to make peace with anyone that I wronged.
12. What’s the saddest thing you can think of?
I don’t think there’s anything in this world that can beat death, especially when it takes someone close to you. You never recover from it.
13. Who do you think is the greatest rapper of all time?
This is a debate that has been going on for years and people have different views according to their preferences. However, I think Tupac Shakur is the greatest rapper of all time. He was a brilliant poet and well ahead of his time.
14. Romance or action?
Action anytime. The thrill of the chase, the suspense, drama and action are amazing.
15. If you were kidnapped and could choose a TV character to save you, who would it be?
I would choose Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He’s a wrestler, a fighter and from what I’ve read, he’s the kind of guy who takes risks and is loyal.
16. In three words, define who Gatsinzi is?
I thought such questions would be for my friends because they are better suited to define who I am. To God, I’m a Christian, to my wife I’m romantic and to my friends, I’m crazy.
17. What is more important, money or love?
I hate to compare love with money because one is emotional and the other is material. Although love is important for emotional and personal development and money is important for survival, I would prefer to love because it transcends what money can do.
18. What would you be doing if you were not an artiste?
I would be in the army. Soldiers are brave, courageous, loyal, disciplined and selfless. We have a safe country because of them and I would love for my friends, family and relatives to live in a safe country. That would have been my other option but music got the best of me.
19. Rap is your first love, is there any other genre you would cheat on it with?
Actually there is and I hope rap doesn’t get jealous. I’m also into reggae and country music.
20. If the whole world would listen to you at once, what message would you send across?
Make love not war.
21. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for love?
I once wrote a poem to a girl and now when I think about it, I wonder what I was up to.