Kamichi, real names, Adolphe Bagabo, is singer and songwriter and a former journalist at Voice of Africa. Prior to moving to the US, he took part in theater and comedy with Ishyo arts center and comedy knights, which was his favourite part as an artist, although he is widely known by his music and radio shows.
Sunday Magazine’s Sharon Kantengwa caught up with the 34 year on what he has been up to, and what his musical journey has been like.
What is your style of music?
I call it Afro fusional though I sometimes do dancehall too. It is because of the Salax Awards categorization since 2009, that I was called an afro beat artist which is fine by me, although I still prefer to call it Afro fusion because there’s a little bit of everything in it, that is culturally gifted.
How did your music career unfold?
I started singing when I was 10 in a church choir, but I did not think of it as my future career because I wasn’t even the greatest vocalist , not even in my choir, even though I was the youngest.
I probably wanted more from music than those who were better than me. I started recording music in 2004, released my first song ‘Komeza ubimbwire’ in 2009, and my second song ‘Zoubedha’ that featured The Ben, was song of the year in 2010, and like they say, the rest is history.
You left for the US at a time when your music career was picking up. Why is that so?
My relocation to the US was not planned. Due to some demanding issues, I had to travel but I however, will be coming back home soon.
How is it like pursuing local music abroad?
Music here is awesome. With different cultures here, giving artistes credit and respect keeps me feeling like a star. I had humble beginnings, but I was focused and believed in God and my abilities.
When ‘Zoubedha’ won the song of the year, I thought it was good but it was a collabo with the incredible The Ben and I told myself that I needed to do more by myself. My third song ‘AhoRuzingiye’ was a huge success, I didn’t have to work hard after that one.
What has your musical journey taught you?
Believe in God and your abilities, plan, pray for your plans, work hard, and you will be blessed. SometimesI didn’t believe in myself or hesitated but whenever I did believe and worked hard I got the rewards...
What do you feel is missing in entertainment today?
We artistes, have a small population to sing for. Artistes in cities like Kampala, Nairobi, and Dar es Salaam have bigger audiences there.
Nigerian artistes, for example, are not better than any other countries on the continent but one of the reasons that they dominant, is their big population including their diaspora which is quite big by the way.
It’s going to be hard for Rwanda to export our music simply because our base is small
And you know when you are talented, you just want show the whole World.
What are your plans for your music career?
I will be releasing my ‘Batoneke’ song in a period of weeks. It is quality music, done by US based Rwandan producer Isaac Munyembabazi, aka Licky.