Music was not my long term plan- Riderman

When he’s not making mega hits, he’s probably grooming upcoming artistes under his record label Ibisumuzi Studio Records, or sharing a stage with them.

When he’s not making mega hits, he’s probably grooming upcoming artistes under his record label Ibisumuzi Studio Records, or sharing a stage with them. 

Emery Gatsinzi aka Riderman, also known as the “Godfather” of Rwandan hip-hop, has won several accolades including Primus Guma Guma Super Star Season 3 and at the Salax Awards.

He told Sunday Magazine’s Sharon Kantengwa how music was a short term plan.

You are considered the Rwandan godfather of hip hop music. How have you achieved success in rap music?

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Riderman won the third edition of Primus Guma Guma music show. / File

There are so many people that contributed to my success but I also worked so hard. I was just so blessed. Also winning the Primus Guma Guma award brought a different image to rap music because after that, people started to respect the kind of music it was after they saw how the crowd was moved. I also speak and sing in several languages including Kinyarwanda, French, English and Swahili.

Is Hip Hop music the only genre you are passionate about?

I have also tried zouk songs with Bruce Melody which has led to a bigger fan base. I would also love to try other genres but rap music is my main thing.

How has it been like helping other up and coming artistes?

I know what it’s like to have talent and not have a helping hand. I started doing this some years back, but due to my tight schedule, I don’t have enough time to help them in the studio. Mostly I share a stage with them, and I am proud to see that rap artistes are growing. Artistes like Ama G the black, Queen Cha, and Social Mula have benefited from this.

You are a graduate of tourism and marketing, yet you are pursuing a music career. How have you related your qualifications to your music career?

When I was working with so many artistes, I helped market our talents and products. Tourism management has also helped me in music tours. This wasn’t the initial plan because I thought I would do music for one year but it ended up being my career.

What has hip hop taught you?

It’s a very nice genre where one gets to express his feelings and so many people get to relate to your stories, and the way the conversation flows in the song. We talk about society issues which people get to relate to and may change.

Does your music convey any particular message to the public?

When I am writing a song, I always focus on different things affecting our society.  I sing about peace, the fight against violence, encourage people to love our country and urge Rwandans, especially the youth to work hard. I also write party songs, because mostly this industry is about entertainment.

What are your future plans?

Riderman is currently working on his mixtape which I will launch on Christmas day.

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