Over the past few years, the Rwandan recording industry has grown in leaps and bounds. However, only a few artists and professionals based in Rwanda have arguably been able to capitalise on this growth.
Recognising this, Rwandan creative media company Afrogroov in partnership with the pan-African record label and distribution platform Africori and others will host a workshop on the digitization and monetization of the local music industry on Saturday 25 June at the Impact Hub in Kigali.
The free workshop aims to change people’s views about Rwanda’s music industry. It is targeted at musicians, government officials, private sector leaders, law professionals and other music industry stakeholders.
The conversation comes at an important time in Rwanda’s music industry. In recent years Rwanda’s live music scene has benefitted from a growing number of live bands and solo musicians plying their trade in Kigali. However, it remains a challenge for most of them to earn a decent living from live performances, as venue owners are said to rarely attach much value to them and therefore seldom pay well. For example an article in The East African claims that bands in Rwanda are often paid less than Rwf100 000 (US$127) for a live show.
The workshop is part of an all-day arts and culture experience dubbed ‘#IamKigali – Kreative Kigali’, which brings together artists from multiple spheres under one roof to showcase the city’s rich and dynamic creative industries and cultural sectors.
The one-day workshop will be followed by evening performances by Abdul Makanyanga, Makumbi Sound and Moutcho, dubbed the M3 Collaboration.
Now in his late 60s, Abdul Makanyaga is a renowned Rwandan traditional musician. He first emerged on the local music scene in the 1970s and made a comeback in 2013. Makumbi Sound is a Kigali-based jazz collective made up of percussionist (and economist) Andrew Mold and guitarists Ibrahim Tam Fum, Chris Nicholson and Junior Tamon, who have been performing together since 2013.
From neighbouring Burundi, Moutcho is a trio made up of Yvan Kwizera (bass), Amadi Nkurikiye (drums) and Arnaud Nganji (guitar) who came together in 2011. Today they are regarded as one of the most innovative bands in Bujumbura, blending diverse influences such as rock, jazz, traditional Burundian rhythms, funk and hip-hop.