Down memory lane profiling record labels that anchored artistes

Tuesday June 23 2020

Alex Muyoboke, manager. PHOTO | FILE

Alex Muyoboke, manager. PHOTO | FILE  

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Artistry has gradually birthed events and sparked realization of society's lifestyle. Behind the rise of most prominent acts today have been record labels being run professionally.

With15 years in the music business, Alex Muyoboke is one of the longest-serving icons in the music management business.

Mr Muyoboke started out with Afro-pop and R&B musician Tom Close. Then, he was feeding his passion for music and organizing concerts at the National University of Rwanda, where he studied.

He took in The Ben, Riderman, King James, Meddy, who were under Inshuti z’ikirere, a prominent group back then, managed Dream Boys, Urban Boys, Charly and Nina, Social Mula, Oda Paccy, Alioni and others under his Decent Entertainment umbrella.

Alongside guiding them through audio and video production of music projects, arranging radio interviews and promotions across a few radio stations, he also ventured into organising concerts away from the university too, which gradually paid.

Soon another renaissance saw the rise of more artiste management labels.


BMCG is one of the first mainstream labels, which scouted and presented a stage for New Age musicians in Afro-urban R&B, hip hop and Neo-Soul, including True D, Angel Mutoni, Yung Tone, Babou and Asher Juno.

Kina Music founder Clement Ishimwe signed up Tom Close, King James, Dream Boys, Knowless, and also discovered and made Christopher Muneza.

These acts have continuously struck a strong chord through the music scene in the last 10 years, securing brand ambassadorship deals with companies like Tigo Rwanda, Tour de Rwanda, and Primus Beer.

Kina scouted for talent, as its old guards faded away, by signing younger artistes like Nel Ngabo and Igor Mabano.

Making its entry in 2018, KICAS Music sought to balance responsibilities with artistes, “Some have this perception that everything should be done by the label, yet this should be a shared role,” says

Dr Mohammed Kintu, an administrator at KICAS Music, a label with Pacifi c Igihozo, Isra Holy Rapper, and lately, Mico The Best and Danny Ivumbi.

Similarly, Super Level label shook up the scene with Mico the Best, Bruce Melodie, and the Urban Boys, adding another home to a new generation of artistes. But it soon closed down and each took up successful solo careers.

Having mentored and presented Peace Jolis, Jody Phibi, and others, back in 2017 Future Records initiated the "I am the Future," an annual music talent contest, which not only discovers outstanding musical acts but offers them management and recording deals too.