A big and pleasant surprise awaited fans who turned up in their thousands for the Primus Guma Guma Superstar season 6-PGGSS6, road show at Nyamirambo’s Tapis Rouge, last month.
After their spirited individual performances, all the ten contestants returned to the stage for one more act –this time a joint collaboration in a song dubbed "Ryoherwa".
Recorded at Narrow Road studio by producer Pastor P, the afrobeat tune is the official anthem for Primus Guma Guma Superstar season 6, and was performed jointly by all the ten contestants at each road show.
The song is just five minutes long, with ten verses that each of the contestants wrote for themselves. Going by the number of views it has already received on YouTube, it’s safe to say that the song is a big hit among Rwandan as well as Primus consumers.
The input of the song is simply that life is too short and therefore one must enjoy it when they can.
“It’s a good song because it’s a collaboration by all the PGGSS6 artistes. I like it because at the time of recording it we had a lot of fun and it’s a good song with a good theme and a good beat,” remarked rapper Young Grace, who is in the competition for the third time. The first was in 2012, then again in 2014.
“It’s all about enjoying and having fun with Primus. We have to enjoy, we have to dance and play because life is short.”
She adds that unlike her previous two appearances, she has gained more experience and exposure, especially with regards to stage and live singing.
Asked if she stands a chance to win, she said: “Of course yes, because I have many fans this time, and I’ve improved my stage management, my performance and my appearance. I’m sure enough that my fans and the judges will select me as the best.”
Like Young Grace, it’s singer Christopher’s third time in the competition. The first time, in 2013, he was just 18-years-old and in High School.
“I had a national exam.....it was hard balancing studies and music but luckily I passed the exam with flying colours.
My experience is that I’m a grown man now. I’m no longer that little kid of 18 when I first joined the competition. I can say that I now know what it takes to bring victory home,” he said confidently.”
About the song, Christopher had this to say: “Ryoherwa means to enjoy something sweet so we were basically just telling people to enjoy. It’s not that long, but also I would say it’s not like the normal songs we know because remember we’re ten people in it.”
“The fans enjoy seeing all of us come together on this one because people at first thought that because we are competing it’s like a fight, but seeing us all come together on this stage makes them see that it’s all about competition and not artists fighting against each other,” he added.
For Gaby Umutare, a first timer in Primus Guma Guma Superstar, it’s all about improving his singing ability and connecting with the fans: “I have had a wonderful experience of working with other artistes. That experience has made me a better performer and singer.
Secondly, the fans we get are really a big number of people. Here in Rwanda it’s not easy for an artiste to get like 50,000 people at your concert as happens during Primus Guma Guma Superstar road shows.”
The Mesa Kamwe singer adds that the competition is a huge platform for the artistes to improve their singing abilities and to raise their profiles as artistes.
Asked what prospects he holds in the competition, he said: “I’m trying my best. I do a good job over there and a lot of people who have been following my music know that I have a good thing going for me. I’m trying to get better and I would like to thank each and every person that supported me and all fans of Rwandan music in general.”
Jules Sentore first entered into Primus Guma Guma Superstar competition in 2014, and this is his third shot at it.
“This time it’s all about working hard and showing fans that I am deserving of a win. Of course I am still doing Gakondo fusion style. I’m currently working on my second Gakondo fusion album.
Gakondo is based on traditional Rwandan music and I just combine this with modern music using instruments like drums, acoustic guitar and bass guitar.
But the way I compose my songs and sing is supposed to be deeply rooted in Rwandan traditional music.” In his penchant for traditional Rwandan music Sentore not only sings, but also dances and plays drums and guitar.
He believes that the Primus Guma Guma Superstar theme song is a good thing as it promotes cohesion and a spirit of sportsmanship among the contestants.
Primus Guma Guma Superstar is the biggest and most popular music competition in Rwanda. The annual event is sponsored by Bralirwa through its biggest mainstream brand Primus.
The show’s season 6 kicked off on May 14, with 10 artistes competing for the prize of Rwf 24 million and the title to become the Primus ambassador. The grand finale is scheduled for August 13 at Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali.
The contestants are Gabby Umutare, Allioni, Danny Vumbi, Bruce Melody, Urban Boyz, TBB, Jules Sentore, Danny Nanone, Young Grace and Christopher.