Music critiquing is rare as mainstream media, and the entertainment industry gave it short shrift .
However, that has not stopped Aboubakar Mukara alias Dj Adams, 44, a local radio presenter to emerge as one, and whose delivery has not only earned him a growing audience, but also a brand name as a music critic.
With a radio career spanning 14 years, Dj Adams’ journey into music was initially through deejaying, which kicked o in Nairobi, a¬fter his secondary school studies in 1993, where he played at a few places including Negas Night Club in the Nairobi suburbs.
Returning to Rwanda, in 1996, he deejayed at Vision 2000 in Remera, then later at Safari Night Club, Kassablanca, Cercle Sportif, and KBC Night Club till 2003, before venturing into mobile disco gigs.
Local music suffered rejection and never made it to radio airwaves, since it was always overshadowed by a large diaspora community dominated most radio broadcasters and audiences too.
A few traditional songs found their way onto radio, but these could barely compete with foreign music.
Dj Adams recalls an aggressive new era of Rwandan musicians, who pioneered a new wave of music. This saw the rise of Afro-hip-hop, Reggae to Afro-R&B genres by acts such as MC Mahoni Boni, Sema Kweri Crew and Mc Bashir.
There were producers such as Busy B the Brain, Dj Rama Kweri who were mostly infl uenced by the Western genres in 2000, before the likes of Neg G the General, SKC, Riderman, Bac T, and Pacson rose to fame.
MC Mande stands out as the presenter who introduced new generational Rwandan music to the radio airwaves.
“On Radio 10, his show was barely recognized back then since it was new to audiences, but his consistency saw it gradually pick up,” Dj Adams adds.
Sadly, local music did not make it to the clubs until 2009 and 2010, and even then in a few radio stations.
Dj Adams' turning point, and call into music criticism was in 2009 when he travelled to Kenya and was challenged by Kenyan DJs claiming that most Rwandan songs were plagiarised.
“I decided straight away to critique this music since it could barely compete anywhere,” he adds. With radio shows like The Lunch Hour Jams, Red Hot Friday Night, on City Radio, gave prominence to music critiquing.
Dj Adams, who recently joined Radio 10, still cites hiccups, but continued with critiquing, “serving as adviser to artistes, and events organisers,” he says.