Tembe: The man and the music

Within Rwandan showbiz in general and within the rap genre in particular, one man stands out. And he needs no introduction. He has been around and has seen the game undergoing transformation over time. Having been in the game for a long time, the rapper shares with his fans what he stands for.
Rapper DMS. (Courtesy)
Rapper DMS. (Courtesy)

Within Rwandan showbiz in general and within the rap genre in particular, one man stands out. And he needs no introduction. He has been around and has seen the game undergoing transformation over time. Having been in the game for a long time, the rapper shares with his fans what he stands for.

The man

Christian Tembe, otherwise known as DMS is one of the country’s rap artistes. Born in Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to a Congolese father and Rwandan mother, DMS started his rap music at the age of 16.  By then he was already playing acts by popular hip hopers such as Puff Daddy.

“While still in school I could get Puff Daddy or 2Pac’s tracks and I would do karaoke’s featuring songs for some of these well known artistes. That is how it all started,” says DMS.

By performing such acts he felt that rap was going to be his thing. After doing karaoke for close to two years in the Congo, DMS felt that time had come for him to do his own compositions. He composed his first track, while he was at Alfajiri College in Bukavu, DR Congo.

DMS asked his then producer Patrick Kalumire to come up with a different kind of a beat for him. And so ‘Am a soldier’ came out. That was in 2000. And so the long journey started within the Rwandan showbiz industry.

But DMS was not a happy man, despite securing himself a spot in the music industry. He had grown up not knowing his mother, who had returned to Rwanda leaving the little DMS with his father. And the rapper says that the search for his mum is still on.

“I don’t want to believe that she is dead. I am still looking for her,” he says.

The music 

“Music is my passion. My music is my dream. And I am living my dream,” he said when asked about what his music stands for.

“I found myself in a situation whereby I was forced to try to stop living my dream but this has not worked. So I am passionate about my music.”

DMS is quick to point out that he is dead serious about music so much so that if he stopped being a musician and ventured into something else, he could actually end up messing up his life.

In December 2007, the Yego star released debut album entitled, Peace, his only album so far. He also boasts several singles.

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