Monday, 29 December 2014

Local songs that rocked in 2014

As curtains fall on the year 2014, it is time to look back and remember the songs that topped the charts this year.

Like 2013, it has been yet another great year for Rwandan music. The New Times conducted a mini-survey to find out which songs got people on their feet whenever played and got many people singing.

We looked at songs that dominated radio playlists throughout the year as well as songs that were watched more than others on Youtube. We also talked to radio personalities and DJ’s as well as random people on the streets to know which songs they enjoyed listening to this year

While there is no song for example that matched last year’s club banger ‘Fata fata’ by DJ Zizou, Rwandan artistes churned out a number of songs that were loved not only on radio stations and TV’s but also in clubs and online.

As observed by 98.7 KFM presenter MC Tino (real names Martin Kasirye), there were a lot of good songs this year but those released towards the end of the year, particularly in November and December tend to get more air play because they are released at the time when the festive mood has set in.

“There is a high chance that if you release a danceable track let’s say in November, by the time the festive season and the parties come in, it will still be fresh in the minds of the people compared to one which was released in March,” says Tino, who is also a member of boy group TBB.

Such songs include ‘Nibisanzwe’ by King James and ‘Ni Danger’ by Danny Vumbi whose videos premiered in November. ‘Tulia’ by Knowless which also has an exceptional video is among the songs which have ended the year on a high.

According to DJ Anita Pendo, to determine which songs dominated 2014, one has to look at how often these songs were requested on radio and TV stations as well as in clubs.

“You will definitely know that a song is a hit when callers keep asking for the same song or when you are playing at a club, or attending concerts and revellers keep asking for the song to be played,” says Pendo, who is also a presenter at Magic FM.

Some of the people interviewed said that they related or liked certain songs for the message contained. Among those cited by fans is ‘Nyabarongo’ by Ama G de Black and Safi Madiba of Urban Boys.

The song relates to many because most people will have to cross River Nyabarongo at some point as they head out to Kigali. ‘Ni Danger’ by Danny Vumbi is also identified among the songs packaged with message. The song is about the youth who have abandoned their culture and language particularly by lacing Kinyarwanda language with slangs.

Other factors that determined how songs faired was the quality of video with those shot outside Rwanda, such as King James’s ‘Ntibisanzwe’ shot in the US and ‘Tulia’ by Knowless shot in Kenya easily finding their way to the top.

This year there were many joint collabos which made it to the top of the charts including ‘Nikonabaye’, yet another hit from DJ Zizou of ‘Fata fata’ fame, ‘Byakuvuna’ by Kina Music affair and‘Rendezvous’ by Oda Paccy among others.

There were also collabos made between Rwandan artistes and other African artistes which also made the cut. These included ‘Tayari’ by Urban Boys featuring Iyanya and ‘Hallo’ by Bruce Melodie and Fille among others.


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