8 October 2017

Rwanda: U.S. Based Rwandan Singer Emmy on Nurturing His Musical Talent

Rwandan afro-beat singer Emmanuel Nshimyiyumva, also known as Emmy, left the country in 2012.

He left at a time when the then budding singer had begun to rock with the entertainment scene and was among the ten contestants of the second season of the Primus Guma Guma music competition.

As a solo artiste and guitarist, some of his first hit songs like 'Uranyuze' won him a big fan base, but his unannounced departure to the US left many of his fans pondering on what the budding singer could be up to.

"Opportunity-wise, the US seemed like a good idea, vis-a-vis school and my music career. I couldn't miss out on the opportunity and so I had to move, sooner than I expected," the singer says.

Although he began grooming his talent at a young age, singing in church, Emmy's professional music career began later with a huge break.

The soft-spoken artiste reveals that his father was his biggest motivator in his musical journey.

"There was a time I was performing on stage, only to see my father among the crowd cheering me on. He supported my choice of career but I did not expect him to attend the show. It melted my heart," he recalls.

It has been five years since the singer left to pursue a course in Civil engineering. He joins the long list of Rwandan artistes currently living abroad.

Luckily for the 'Subiza' singer, despite leaving the country as a budding artiste, he has managed to keep going in the music industry, with the biggest number of his fans being Rwandans, yet still being able to keep a low profile.

"Pursuing music outside of my country has its perks and has helped me grow in my career. Being away from my fans is not easy but what gives me courage to keep on releasing songs is because my fans still enjoy my music despite my absence," the singer says.

"I see the feedback on my social media handles, and I cannot be grateful enough, for the love that Rwandans back home show us. Promoting one's music in a country where they do not live is not an easy task," he says.

His experience pursuing a solo music career has taught him humility and hard work and says he's ready to contribute to the fast growing industry in the country.

"I have been able to meet so many different people, had exposure and support from several African countries and our music has improved tremendously," he says.

"Emmy is different from the one who left 5 years ago. The real Emmy now is the energetic one who will do all he can to take his music to on another level. I want to help take Rwandan music to another level," he says.

His 'Wabaga he' hit song with Priscilla is the first collabo in his music career. He has been on many music tours in several cities in the United States. He also had a chance to perform at Tanzania's bongo flava and RnB maestro Ali Kiba concert in the US.

"I just had a short performance but I was amazed at how many Tanzanians and Kenyans who attended the show, were singing along. It is proof of the development of the Rwandan music industry."

Returning home

Balancing academics and music is proof of the singer's hard work and determination to make it in the music industry.

He is currently working on finalising his music album and has plans of working with several Rwandan artistes, in all-star music projects with a several 'amazing Rwandan artistes that have of late unleashed their musical talent'.

He reveals that his plans are to come back home once he finalises his album to perform for his fans.

"I miss Rwanda and coming back home has always been my everyday dream. I love my fans and I would definitely love to perform for them once again," he says.

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