REGGAE superstar Natty Dread and renowned music producer Frank Mastola, will represent Rwanda as judges at the East African Music Awards (EMAs), slated for August 20 in Nairobi, Kenya.
The East African Music Awards is the first competitive and inclusive music awards in the region. The event encompasses eight countries: Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Each country shall be represented by two judges, who will nominate four artists from each category. The music that would be allowed in the competition must have been published and received airplay between January 1, 2007 and May 2, 2011. The closing date for the entries is June 17.
Alfred Mutua, from Golden Dreams Company Limited, which organised the East African Music Awards, told The New Times that the idea of the event is to expand the music in the region, as well as help artists gain more popularity.
“The awards will be very competitive, where by all artists will have to compete for only one award from each category,” Mutua said.
The company has also included the music industry stakeholders, especially producers, so that it can hold the best, largest and most prestigious music awards ceremony ever.
The East African Music Awards will recognise modern music: Rhumba, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Gospel, Hip-Hop, Taarab, among many others.
Jean Pierre Runyurana, the president of ‘Ingoma Music Association’ appreciated the initiative and the fact that Rwanda will not only be represented in performances but also on the panel of judges.