Upcoming duo 'The Same' on why music outside the city can also thrive

‘The Same’, a budding singing duo based in Rubavu District, Western Province, was formed in 2011.
The Same’  members J Luv (L) and J Fary are based in Rubavu District
The Same’ members J Luv (L) and J Fary are based in Rubavu District


Serge Munyagisenyi, also known as J Luv, and JMV Imanizabayo, known by his stage name, J Fary, combined different genres to create a unique sound that people of all ages can enjoy. 


“It doesn’t really matter where we work from. Some people think working outside the city is a hindrance to our music. We have been doing this since 2011 and we have been invited to perform at several gigs across the country,” says J Luv.


Although some people are of the view that it’s barely possible to succeed if you’re doing music outside the city that has access to facilities, media and opportunities and most of all, people who understand the entertainment scene, the group is fighting hard to challenge that.


“When you know what you want, there’s no way you can fail to achieve it. This is why we’ve refused to pay attention to those who discourage us from doing our music in Rubavu. We realised that music is a universal language, so people everywhere understand it,” he adds.

The group’s debut song, Akanozangendo, came out in 2011. However, during the same year, J Luv was arrested and jailed for two years and this caused a setback.

“I was given a two-year sentence after an employer accused me of stealing money. It was a setback, but while incarcerated, I learned the guitar and piano and other vocational skills,” he explains.

Together, the group has produced close to 15 songs, some of which have featured renowned local artistes like Ama-G the Black and Bull Dogg. They are known for songs like Tell Me, Ikibibi, Agahebuzo, Mbiguyemo, Mwanaume Ni Pesa, Akabyiniro, Tegereza, Yinyereke, and Shine, among others.

For J Fary, there are a number of talented people who are actually based outside the capital. But what they lack is capacity building, and some underground artistes have not been able to promote their music since they don’t have access to the media.

“Eventually, there are very many talented people outside the capital but most of them lack those who can empower them and support them. We have seen talented people but promotion is always a challenge,” he says.

Today, the group is inspiring other potential artistes to continue pursuing their music regardless of where they are; artistes like Kalidy, Under King, Rasta Honore, and Sakabexx, who are also from Rubavu.

Above: ‘The Same’ members J Luv (L) and J Fary are based in Rubavu District


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