The struggle to make it in the music industry

Having interviewed several musicians, one realizes that for many, especially up coming artists have something in common or almost share dreams.
Elion plays guitar; he has found it difficult to make it on the local music scene. The Sunday Times/ Susan Babijja
Elion plays guitar; he has found it difficult to make it on the local music scene. The Sunday Times/ Susan Babijja

Having interviewed several musicians, one realizes that for many, especially up coming artists have something in common or almost share dreams.

Just like in every other industry or profession, getting to the next level is one`s focus or target. And for the case of musicians, they have to engage in various mechanisms depending on where and how they start their journey.

Tens years back, Elion Victory was not any where known in Rwanda`s music industry despite contributing to strengthen fellow musicians who had already established themselves on ground.

“It was not really easy to start my career since I started by playing guitar and piano something I did for various musicians including Dr. Claude, Kitoko and Mani Martin among others,” Elion says.

He adds that he was placed between rocks as it was such a hard decision to make, for him to become independent.

“Those I was helping were in need of my services, but I also wanted not only money but experience from them. It was a battle in deciding which way to take.

“However, sometime in 2004, I had to painfully give up backing others in order to exploit my talent. This was after performing in various Kareoke competitions. In 2005, I released my first single-Zainabu and Amafuranga in 2006,” he recalls.

Elion recalls that these two singles attracted more funs, inspiring him to release “Marita” which won him a lot of Air play on local radio stations.

“That was the start of a long journey and I kept on working with a music producer Pastor P until when I launched my first album “Babwere” which has 17 songs.”

The Afro beat musician says this was a land mark in his life.

Although he failed to make it to the 10 nominees of the on going second edition of Primus Guma Guma Superstar (PGGSS) music competition, he says that taking part in the first round was also an achievement.

However, on the other hand it was a surprise that Young Grace, a hip hop musician who has spent less than two years managed to break through the top circles.

She was selected third and it did not only shock some funs but even the musician herself.

“It was such an amazing moment of my life. I am now confident that despite competing alongside fellow musicians with experience in the industry, I can make it,” Grace tells Sunday Times.

She explains that the most important thing is what one believes he or she can achieve.

Like any other musician who the contest host, Lion Imanzi mentioned among the top ten, it was such an exciting moment.

However, this does not necessarily mean that those who were not among the ten are not good. It simply identified those who suit the principals of that particular event.

The winner of this competition is expected to walk away with a grand prize, recording deal and promotion of a new album.

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