Pius Rukabuza, better known as DJ Pius, is seeking to redefine the local and probably the regional music scene.
The artiste’s debut album launch was slated for August 3 and 4 in Kigali and Musanze. The 31-year-old’s debut album is titled Iwacu.
A few years after embarking on a solo career, the DJ turned musician is no stranger to the competitive entertainment scene.
DJ Pius’ start as a solo artist began two years ago, when he first released Agatako, which featured Uganda’s award-winning artiste Jose Chameleon.
Unlike previous projects, the artiste is keen on reaching out to various audiences in Rwanda and across the borders.
The songs are a mix of Ikinyarwanda, English, Luganda and Kiswahili. This makes them relatable to East Africans and even beyond the region.
Iwacu is a 16-song and one bonus track album and includes songs like Iwacu, Agatako, Tempramido, Agatako, Wabulilawa, Play It Again, Too Bad and Nta Kibazo.
They prove that DJ Pius is an artist to be reckoned with. Having over 13 years’ experience in deejaying in Rwanda and across the region, the artiste has discovered the beauty of collaborative music projects.
His single Agatako, a collaboration, marked his start as a solo artist. Half of the music on his debut album features regional and continental collaborative projects with artistes from Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi.
Following the success of Agatako, DJ Pius recorded another hit dubbed Nta Kibazo, with Jose Chameleon. This collaboration was a sign of the artiste’s musical journey so far.
“Chameleon has been supportive since the first day,” he said.
DJ Pius has also worked on two songs with Burundi’s Big Fizzo and another with Chameleon.
He worked with renowned producers like Rwanda’s Izo Pro, Pastor P and Track Slayer, Uganda’s Nessim, Elia Arkis, Danz Kumapeesa and FX of Nigeria on the new album.
DJ Pius has also worked on other artistes’ projects like Ziggy 55, Aidan, Uncle Austin, Trezzor, Jay Polly, Urban Boys, Riderman, Charly and Nina.
He has also worked with Zambia’s Afro-pop musician Roberto of the “Amarula” fame.
Iwacu is a compilation of Afro-pop and traditional beats, which reflect the artiste’s diversity. This is seen in songs like Iwacu, a Kinyarwanda song with intense vocals, lyrics and instrumentals.
The album also features Wabulilawa, a Luganda and Kinyarwanda song that fuses Kiganda drums and Burundian beats.
Following his collaborations with Uganda’s Jose Chameleon, Radio and Weasel, last year, DJ Pius released Tempramido, which featured Nigeria’s MC Galaxy and Neza.
Since then, he has worked on more collaborations with Uganda’s Ray Signature, Weasel and Pallaso, Nigeria’s Solid Star, Tanzania’s Lady Jay Dee and Burundi’s Big Fizzo.
“My entry into the Ugandan market is solely attributed to collaborations,” said DJ Pius.
His debut album concert will feature performances by local artists Bruce Melodie, Uncle Austin, Jody, Urban Boys, Jules Sentore, Dream Boys, Charly and Nina.
Others are guest artistes like Burundi’s Big Fizzo alongside Jose Chameleon, Pallaso, Ray Signature and Weasel from Uganda The musician said that despite challenges like promotion and funding for his music, he still has to cement his brand locally.
“I still need to do more local songs,” he said.
DJ Pius added that the albumis also a tribute to the late Moses Ssekibogo also known as Mowzey Radio and producer Danz Kumapeesa and his friend Andrew who all were part of its making.