12 November 2012

Rwanda: 'Music Is Business' - Dream Boys

They may only have just graduated from university, and been on the music scene for just a couple of years, but they are well on their way to achieve their dream. Platini Neme and Claude Mujanama - better known as Dream Boys - have been around each other since they were kids, due to their shared passion for music.

"When we decided to sing together, we had no proper plan as to exactly what kind of music we would be playing, we basically had no dream," Neme says. "Until we put our heads together and realized we both liked RnB but with a bit of Afro, and so we settled for that." They had found their dream, and Dream Boys were born.

The duo write their own songs and have so far worked with different producers from Rwanda and Uganda. "What we write about depends on what we go through in our lives, the challenges we meet and the mishaps surrounding our communities," Neme explains.

They started their music career in 2009, when they also launched their first album 'Sinzika.' To the boys, it still stands out as a magic moment. "It was the first launch we did, but we were overwhelmed by the attendance and everything. It is the most successful launch we have had, we had no idea it would be that big," Neme remembers.

The first album put them in the limelight and before they knew it, their songs were hitting the airwaves. According to Dream Boys' lead vocalist, this encouraged them to even work harder, and before long they were ready to launch their second album, 'Dufitanyi Isaano.' It came out in 2011, but Neme admits it didn't get as much attention as the first one. "The second one was good but the first one is still the best launch we have had, it is an unforgettable memory."

Nevertheless, they have made their name even regionally, as is shown by the two international collabos they did - 'No one like me' with Ugandan Eddie Kenzo and 'Nzagaruka' with Burundian T-Max.

And recently, they got out their third album, 'Uzambariza Mama.'

Not that it has been an entirely smooth ride for Dream Boys. Neme says that the biggest challenge they face is lack of sponsorship, considering that there are few other ways of making money with their music. "There is no proper copyright law in Rwanda, so protection of intellectual property is lacking," he points out (mistakenly, though, since the law exists; ed.), adding that CD sales are also rather low. "Fans now can get the music on the internet and download it, so it is so hard to sell our CDs."

Yet Dream Boys are determined to make music their profession. "Gone are the days when we would sing for fun, for us music is business," Neme states, adding that while they are still passionate about music, it also what puts bread on the table. "We are into music to have fun and to earn money."

That is an attitude they picked up from artists such as Miss Jojo and Tom Close, as well as Tanzanian Ali Kuba, all of whom Neme says they consider as role models because they are professionals.

That sounds like the right approach to make your dreams come true.

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