Ideas, Stories, and Profiles

Rwanda’s top music festival comes back this weekend, with yet another exciting lineup. At its fifth edition, KigaliUp is only thriving and looking for the best at a time when the country’s music and entertainment industry faces multiple challenges.

I have never been at the Festival before, but here is why I am going this weekend:

1 – It’s the fifth edition!

The fifth. It’s always exciting. If you were there last year, “think of something better; five times better than last year,” a friend who’s part of the organising committee joked last weekend.

2 – Teta will be performing

If you too have been following Rwandan music scenes, then you know what I am talking about. This girl is rocking, hitting every little moment at the stage. Her last performance at the Rwanda Youth Forum in Texas was thrilling; even the First Lady would agree.

Teta is also set to release a video of her latest single, Tanga Agatego.

3 – Kenya’s Sauti Sol will sing “Sura Yako”

I can’t think of any other Kenyan song I know right now, apart from “Sura Yako”. If you still don’t like that song or wonder how much Rwandans love it, you might want to watch this video – a Rwandan dance cover:

4 – A bit of Eric One-key’s Entre2?

When One-key released his album early this year, we were inspired. The courage, determination and talent throughout his work is phenomenal. I can’t wait to see what the minds has this time.

Eric is, undoubtedly, Kigali’s most talented wordsmith.

5 – Ricky Password, Angel and Mike on stage

Muti-talented, these three multi-talented youngsters are certainly the best thing to happen to Rwanda’s music scenes in the last five years. When Mike plays the piano and sings, Ricky holds the guitar and moves, Angel slams, and it creates a futuristic sensation.

Listen for yourself:

6 – The lyrics of Jay Polly’s music

I’ve been to all the PGGSS grand finales since Jay Polly lost in 2012. It was spectacular to witness his win – perhaps the best since the beginning of the competition – last year. When this guy gets on stage, its hard to stay still.

7 – Food, food, food, and again… drinks

I’m told there are multiple beer-gardeners and a few Kigali fast food restaurants setting tents. These ones do not sounds exciting to me, but I can’t wait to meet the chief muchoma at the event.

8 – The tweeps and the selfies

Even though I couldn’t make it to the Festival in the previous year, I followed the events on social media, particularly Twitter. Several tweeters shared photos and comments live. If you call it a #RwOT event, you won’t be totally wrong.

Plus, there’s free WiFi. Meaning… more selfies and more #KigaliUp2015.

9 – Eddy Kenzo and his 25-member brand

I’ve learned this Rwandan artist has travelled with his 25-member band, and it will be his first show since he won the BET award. Never seen him perform before, but I can imagine how it feels to see the funky Afro-dance.

10 – Makanyaga, the king of igisope

Last time it was in 2010. I’m sure he has something new, groovy this year.

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