1keynote on #YourMusicYourVoice

Before the Event

About a month ago, when I received an email from the Goethe Institute in Rwanda to participate in a workshop/concert project in Kampala, Uganda, scheduled from 1st-5th October under the theme #YourMusicYourVoice on which Megaloh & Ghanain Stallion, who were on an African tour, would perform, I thought “Who are these guys?” So I looked them up and damn they were hot! I don’t speak German but music has no language. It is the language of the universe. I felt the anger, the protest in their Hip Hop. Continue reading “1keynote on #YourMusicYourVoice”

Untitled 

My history has no face
Its voice emits on strange waves
An intricate message
Written in a coded language

The enigma machine is idle
Broken or tempered with by rivals?
Silenced? Scaring idols?
What’s a man afraid of idylls?

Take me to a club where Rujindiri creates samples for beats by Dre
Take me to a church where Kagame is the padre
Take me to a mosque where Anta Diop is sheikh
Take me to a time before Misri kings “became” greek

[…to be continued]

#1key

Entre 2 Album Review: Apprenti_Sage

Track 1: Apprenti_Sage (“Wise Apprentice/Learning”)

Apprenti_Sage is the album’s opening track. Drawing on the Rwandan tradition of Kwivuga, which literally means bragging, 1key introduces and asserts himself as a poet and as an artist, who terrorizes his enemies! Within the tradition of Rwandan praise poetry there are numerous specialist sub-genres, including the poetry of dynasty, the poetry of farmers, and amahamba (“the praising of cows”). According to 1key: “Kwivuga was everybody’s poetry”. Created and performed by men and boys, kwivuga is about lineage and ego: “it’s about knowing who you are and ensuring that others know too” (1Key). In this case, 1Key identifies himself as the son of his personal hero, his late Grandfather Ngangare Rugambwa. Continue reading “Entre 2 Album Review: Apprenti_Sage”

Entre 2 album review: A l’Africaine (Iwacu)

Track 3: L’Africaine (Iwacu) [“In the African Style (Iwacu)”]

A l’Africaine (Iwacu) (“In the African Style [Iwacu]”) is a love song between 1Key and Africa, his Iwacu, which means “home” or “homeland” in Kinyarwanda. In his song, 1Key invites us to a generalised Africa. His detailed descriptions evoke the human senses when he speaks of rain flowing over skin, kept warm by the sun. He tells us: “Close your eyes so I can remove your mascara with my kisses”, and: “Come, put your head on my chest/Listen to the echo of the source of my forces.” (Translated from French to English) The hook, too, has a particularly seductive quality: Continue reading “Entre 2 album review: A l’Africaine (Iwacu)”

Entre 2 album review: En Root

Track 11: En Root (“In Root/En Route”)

The album’s message of a united humanity – which 1Key expresses in his previous song Universoul – nicely leads us into Entre 2’s reggae song: En Root (“In Root”). Over bouncy rhythms, the album’s entre deux (“between two”) motif persists until the end. As the title of the song suggests, 1Key is “in root”. The poet’s journey completes a full circle when he returns to his search for a connection to his “untraceable” roots. In the hook, 1Key sings in English: Continue reading “Entre 2 album review: En Root”