Entre 2 album review: Who is Eric 1Key?

Credit: Innovation Village
Photo credit: Innovation Village

Eric 1Key (real name Eric Ngangare) is one of Rwanda’s most exceptional creative talents. He is a multi-lingual hip-hop poet, spoken word artist, blogger, actor and advocate of Kigali’s blossoming live music scene. Born to a Rwandan mother and Congolese father, 1Key has lived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda – where he lives today. Between November 2014 and February 2015 – and while living in Kampala, Uganda – 1Key created his debut album Entre 2 (“Between Two”). Continue reading “Entre 2 album review: Who is Eric 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: Virtually Yours

Track 4: Virtually Yours ft. Ricky Password & Mhinganzima 

While A L’Africaine (Iwacu) expresses 1Key’s romantic nostalgia for a time before apps and gadgets, the album’s following track throws us forwards into a celebration of online space and its capacity for enabling love and musical collaboration. Virtually Yours narrates an online love story, with the feel-good mood being inspired by Ray Charles’s influential song What’d I Say (1959). Recorded at audio-producer Barick’s home-studio in Kigali, Virtually Yours is alive and upbeat. The free-feeling quality is achieved by the fast tempo, the strong backbeat of the drum kit, and the attack of the electric piano rhythms. We hear multiple voices singing in Kinyarwanda, French and English, reflecting the new Kigali today, where entwined linguistic and cultural influences feed into an increasingly diverse and interesting creative arts scene. Continue reading “Entre 2 album review: Virtually Yours”

Entre 2 album review by Ceri Whatley

Ceri WhatleyCeri Whatley is a PhD candidate in African Studies and Anthropology at the University of Birmingham, UK. Since 2007, she has lived, worked and travelled in 15 African countries and has conducted prior research on isicathamiya music in South Africa (which won her the Fage undergraduate of the year award). Ceri was first introduced to beautiful Rwanda in 2010, when she worked for non-profit organisation One Laptop per Child (OLPC). Marrying together her interest in education and the arts, Ceri spent a second year in Kigali teaching art and music to primary school children. Continue reading “Entre 2 album review by Ceri Whatley”