Thomas Muyombo, 23 aka Tom close is one of the young upcoming Rwandan music stars. So far, he has successfully juggled his music career with pursuit of a degree in medicine from the National University of Rwanda.
His latest album – Sibeza, will be launched next week in Butare and Kigali on June 17 and June 18, respectively. The New Times’ Tony Barigye spoke to him about his careers and lifestyle.
What is behind the name of the new album Sibeza?
I got the name from one of the songs in the album. I normally sing about the lifestyle of people who live in Africa. In Africa, people are usually bothered by issues that do not concern them. The message in the song is to tell people not to mind what others say about them.
With your increasing fame, how much do you earn from the music business?
It is not much, but I think in future its going to be more. At the moment sponsors have not yet come in and our music is being pirated. So it is hard to earn as much as we could from selling our music
Who is your role model?
I don’t normally think much about that but the person that inspires me is the president, Paul Kagame. He has an independent mind.
How do you balance medical school with a career in music?
I get time because doctors always get time. After work in the evening there is a whole night. I do this music while resting. Even doctors enjoy listening to music. It helps them clear their minds.
What was your parents view on this?
I didn’t think they could trust me so easily but they didn’t know I was singing until when they saw me on television. To my surprise, they didn’t take it as a bad thing. I didn’t tell them because they would say it was disrupting my education. But at present they are comfortable.
What is your view on Rwandan music industry?
I think Rwandan Music is improving. These days talented guys are coming in and even the producers have gained more experience.
Rumor has it that you clash with your brother Ben who is also a musician
No no no, that is not the way it is. Apart from being my brother, he is my closest friend. We are always in contact. We can’t get conflicts because we know that our brother hood is greater than our interest in music.
How do you spend your leisure time?
I have little time which is divided between books and in the studio. I spend more time on books and less in the studio.
I don’t have one. I used to have a girlfriend but she thought I was cheating. She thought that being a celebrity goes hand in hand with cheating. We broke up last year.