He is one of Rwanda’s top Afro R&B musicians, yet over close to six years in US, Ben Mugisha alias The Ben has profusely struck a wave into the East African music scene, hit several stages through performance tours, received nominations, awards and still stood up to his passion.
Ahead of his home coming concert dubbed The East African Party, taking place on January 1st 2017 in Kigali, ArtsGlo team caught up with the musician.
Q; Even after all these years, while away from Rwanda, what has inspired you to hold onto the career so far?
A; Just the love of music, I just love to push boundaries, shift dimensions for the sake of music. I love challenge myself and I think that’s what really inspires me overall.
Q; Wasn’t joining US of great challenge to a young budding African musician like you?
A; It was easy because I never really struggled finding studios or producers. If I tell you that they found me instead, I wouldn’t be lying.
Q; How has it been you performing through concerts, and how has the audience perceived it?
A; I’ve been to places like Arizona, Washington DC, Maine Portland, Chicago, Brussels… I can’t recall all of them but honestly it feels amazing when you see people with so much joy singing all your songs even better than you sometimes, it warms my heart.
Q; What has kept your career ticking, the consistency in keeping up with the trend, that you are still desired in Rwanda and in the diaspora?
A; I feel like social media has played a very big part. Before, we used to be worried about things like how songs were going to reach to as many people as we wished, but that’s no longer the issue now. More than 250,000 people follow my social media combined each day; that’s huge, and I’m grateful. However, it puts me on a positive persuasion side that I have to keep the pace by working harder. Each album, each song, each concert, each video, is an opportunity for me to set a whole new level.
Q; What has been that pressing challenge over time as you’ve been away?
A; The only challenge is just wanting to see/ sing for my own people more often and not being able too. That’s the only challenge. Otherwise there’s no so much of differences.
Q; How do you rate your Career and musical journey so far?
A; Growing fast and I’m proud of it.
Q; You are returning home (Rwanda), how do you feel about this?
A; Excited, I just can’t wait any longer!!!
Q; What should people back home expect at your home-coming concert?
A; Why don’t you wait and see! [Laughs]. Nevertheless, this New Year is going to be the year of so much joy within me, and to Rwandans in general. So, let’s work towards it.
Q; It’s been so long, and a long wait for Rwandans, you have before been announced to return and perform, but didn’t show up. Why now?
A; Great question. For me, 2016 feels like the right year to come back home. And I’m glad that EAP in collaboration with Bralirwa have finally met my requirements for performance.