Gone are the days when deejays would only scout for music, then look forward to playing it at dance clubs, or other functions.
It might be the norm elsewhere, but the culture of deejays recording songs is only lately finding its feet in Rwanda.
Pioneering the venture into the mainstream music space was Dj Pius, who in 2009 paired up with Aidan TK for form Two 4 Real.
The Afro-beat and pop group recorded several songs and collaborated with Rwandan artistes Jody, Ziggy 55, and continental acts like Zambia’s Roberto before it split up in 2016.
Dj Pius took on a solo career, where he collaborated with Uganda’s Jose Chameleon and released Agatako, a song that gave him a career breakthrough.
Dream Team Deejays
He has since toured Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi and landed collaborations with Uganda’s Radio, Weasel, Ray Signature Carole Kasita, Tanzanian Lady JayDee, Nigeria’s Neza, and Mc Galaxy and many others and launched Iwacu, his debut album in 2018.
Initiated in 2013, Dream Team Deejays, spearheaded by Deejays Marnuad, Toxxyk, and the late Miller, has since 2018 raised the bar for its solid venture into the mainstream music recording, and unique stage delivery, which has in time attracted a growing youthful audience.
With each working on solo music projects, Dj Marnaud kicked off with Bape, a song that featured Active Again, which was well received. He later recorded more songs with Safi Madiba, Malaika Uwamahoro, King Jamesand Bushali among others, before launching his debut album dubbed Atchatchatcha.
Then followed the late Miller who through songs like Ijori ni Bae, Un Million C’est quoi Remix with Knowless Butera, Dream Boys, Peace Jolis, and Christopher, while Toxxyk recorded Happy Faces, Pull Up, Nyumvira with Davis D, Kivumbi King, Angel Mutoni, B-Threy, and Trizzie.
With this, they have captive audiences, toured locally and internationally, securing more gigs in the process.
Taking the mantle was Dj Edwin, who last year 2018 recorded Akaduka which featured Sintex and Fax Rapper. He also released Tic Tac with Sintex in 2019.
Dj Lenzo too first teamed up with Sintex and recorded Akuka. This followed Zana featuring rapper Bulldog which he released earlier this year. He has since released Hahiye featuring Fax Rapper, Sekura, and Agapfukamunwa.
Last year, Dj Phil Peter joined in and they recorded Bombe. For an act who holds over 15 years in the deejaying circles, Dj Kiroso takes a unique lane, as he specialises in remaking songs. With a stronger specialization in the Dancehall genre, he produces remixes of songs, and fine-tuning them into groovy renditions.