DIFFERENT music styles are popular in Rwanda since the early 1980s.
This is partly due to the influence from the West.
Today some of Rwanda’s mainstream artistes blend rap with Rn’b, pop/rock, dancehall, hip-hop, Afro-zouk or blues.
For example, DJ Berry (Nsabimana Abdul Aziz), a famous disco joker and a presenter, at Radio Rwanda, first introduced hip-hop in the country in 1985.
Besides being an early rapper and break-dancer, he moved to Germany and recorded his single “Hey You”, which became a hit on both the Rwandan and Ugandan radio stations.
On returning to Africa in 1990, Berry continued to promote hip-hop in Rwanda until he passed away in 1996.
The local hip-hop musicians have gone ahead to imitate the dressing style of the Western musicians.
Male artists wear oversised clothes with heavy necklaces hanging on their necks.
While their sister vocalists wear extremely tight clothes, or go almost half-naked, in the name of fame. To ensure that audiences are entertained and informed, musicians in Rwanda blend Swahili, English and French.
Many of the artists are already famous on the regional music charts due to their unique music styles, harmony and melody.
The local celebrated musicians include Rafiki, Queen Allay, Miss JOJO and Kigali Boyz Group (KGB)
Some of them have already made names in the region, after winning several Pearl of African Music (Pam) Awards.
It is important to note that they have managed to compete with East Africa’s most celebrated vocalists like—Jose Chameleon, Professor Jay, Nameless, Juliana Kanyomozi, Ray C and many others, who have been in the music industry for ages.
Others like Makombe Nikoshwa, Dr. Claude, Rider Man, DMS, MC Mahonibondi, Kayitare Wayitare, Miss Shanel, and Trinity are also striving harder to improve on their music to hit the international scene.
As the music industry continues to grow, different production houses are coming up. So far, the most popular ones in the country include, Narrow Road Production and JP Production among others.
Hip-hop is now a common trend worldwide. And, most Rwandans love hip-hop fashion designers.
Such local artists like Miss Allay have occasionally identified themselves with Shakira or Beyonce outfit styles.