RWANDAN MUSIC is best known for a number of genres with R&B, Hip Hip, Afrobeat, Pop and Gakondo being the most common in the local music industry.
However, Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is a new genre that is slowly gaining the upper hand in Rwanda as its community continues to grow thanks to the efforts some producers are making to record a number of EDM genre songs.
A typical example of a Rwandan song that is of the EDM genre is ‘Grateful’, a collaboration of singer Rita Ange Kagaju and producer Jumper Keellu.
The song is part of the singer’s latest album, “Sweet Thunder”.
During the studio recording session, Jumper Keellu recorded Rita Ange’s verses and gave her song an EDM vibe during production.
Electronic dance music, also known as dance music, club music, or simply dance music, uses a wide range of percussive electronic music genres designed largely for nightclubs, raves, and festivals. .
It is typically produced for playback by DJs who create transparent selections of tracks, also known as mixes, smoothly switching between recordings.
Producer Keellu is one of eight Rwandan producers who record EDM genre songs so far. Others include Kavadias Mahoro, also known as MahKavadias, Jean d’Amour Habimana [S3PH], Josue Ishema (Jösh), Valens Mugisha (Ano), Placide Iradukunda Munyaneza (IRAD Placide) and Levis Shema (L3vis).
The genre may exist in Rwanda but its exposure remains narrow, a vice that producers strive to overcome by doing everything possible to promote the genre and make it accessible to its audiences.
The idea of bringing the EDM genre to Rwanda crossed the mind of producer L3vis as he watched a number of producers, on YouTube, perform the genre at major international festivals.
L3vis, who has been recording EDM genre songs for three years, shared the idea with his fellow producers so they can help push the genre to its breakthrough in Rwanda.
In February, the producers introduced the initiative to Kyle Schofield, the director of QA Venue Solutions who runs Kigali Arena.
As a huge EDM fan who attended festivals run by EDM while in South Africa, Schofield promised to give them a live set to play EDM at various big events held at the Arena.
“He liked the idea but asked us to develop the community. He advised us to create a great platform for the genre and bring the EDM community together to develop the genre’s fan base in Rwanda, ”L3vis told The New Times.
Levis said that creating a community EDM platform is important because there are a large number of people who love the EDM genre but have no idea if there is a community that supports the genre in Rwanda as they only know EDM performances from international festivals which they watch via YouTube and other platforms.
“We want to bring this community together and let them know that we are doing EDM in Rwanda for their enjoyment. We want to put it within their reach. The platform is growing now and people are joining the community over time, ”he said.
Exposure is still low due to interruptions caused by the lockdown, but producers are eager to bring it to the music audience once the pandemic subsides.
It was planned to do EDM at the event held at Kigali Arena, including the just concluded FIBA Women’s Afrobasket Zone 5 qualifiers, to see how great the audience reception would be. , but, unfortunately, the producers were not able to stage after the quarantine of Kigali.
“We are now focusing on gender promotion efforts on our social networks and other platforms to continue to strengthen its community in Rwanda and festivals will follow,” L3vis said.
According to the producer, the future of EDM in Rwanda is bright given the way people join his community as he believes it can add something big to the development of Rwanda’s music industry.
“I believe electronic music can add an incredible vibe to our growing music,” he said.