FROM her adorable voice to the way she flawlessly holds her guitar, 17-year-old Ange Rita Kagaju is a young girl whose talent is destined for greatness.
No wonder she impressed judges and the audience during auditions for the ‘I am the Future’ music competition, a local talent search project, last year. A YouTube video of her performance has since gone viral.
VIDEO: Meet Ange Rita Kagaju, a 17-year-old songbird. TheNewTimes/YouTube
The second born in a family of ten, revealed in an interview with The New Times, that she discovered her singing talent at the age of 12 when she was learning guitar lessons.
“While in Tunisia for treatment, my mother asked if she could bring us any gifts and out of nowhere I asked for a guitar,” Kagaju recalled.
She says she didn’t know how to play it, so her friend offered to teach her the basics while she learned the bigger cords with the help of YouTube tutorials.
“I began rhyming melodies with the codes and that is when I realized that I could actually sing,” she said.
A senior six student at Rwamagana Lutheran School, Kagaju likens her voice and music genre to that of British soul singer Adele, who she says she looks up to, together with Alicia Keys.
“Music is a language that everyone understands. Sometimes I cannot talk or cry to people because people might not want to pay attention to me but then music is always there for me and I relate my feelings through and can communicate with people through music. It’s the warmest feeling ever,” she says of her passion.
Her talent has earned her several gigs at weddings and school talent shows, which prompted her to strive to improve her musical talent.
Last year, she was invited to perform at the ‘Rwanda Konnect Gala’ that was headlined by Rwandan traditional music legend Cécile Kayirebwa and Burundian zouk singer Kidum.
“I am just starting out, so my main focus is not going to be about the money. I am going to focus on developing and giving people something that is good, and then people will determine how much money I deserve to earn through good music,” the confident songbird says.
She also joined the ‘I am the future’ talent music competition last year and came in second position. She had hoped to win at the finals, and use it as a platform to promote her music.
With a subject combination of Mathematics, Physics and Geography, the singer aspires to be a writer, poet and engineer, besides building a career in music.
She believes that music is more than leisure, but cannot be a replacement for education.
“I know that I have to have a life before I venture into music because sometimes music could disappoint and if you are going to fall, you need to have somewhere else you will to fall to.
I chose to build that safe place with education. I believe music will not let me down but also, I need to have something that can work together with music,” Kagaju says.