The Expericment Film

I have been conflicted since the film was completed. My friend Isumbabyose, the brain behind this documentary, and I had many conversations regarding its release. Initially he made a 10min version hoping to raise interest about the full film and maybe generate some income from it but at the same time the purpose of the film is to educate about what it is to be an artist in a system that does not value arts. I’ve been working hard, pushing the envelope as much as I could but still it seems like we have many years to go. We need people who see the potential in the arts to make it an industry. Right now I feel it’s important that I share with the world today and the next about what I have learned as an independent artist and cultural entrepreneur in Rwanda. To be honest I am worried about the future of the arts in this country. The present is already a mess but I have hope that every blue moon generations will rise to the challenges.
This film is personal journey that I hope will shed light on issues that we do not talk about publicly as artists because we have a “reputation” to protect. So please let’s all learn together and figure out ways that may work for those kids who are talented but have no platform. If anything, tell them I tried and that I care about them.

Advertisements

Thank You 

Thank you for your understanding and empathy;

Thank you for sparing the time to read my drafts in a world congested with information;

Thank you for looking for earplugs every time you see a 1key soundcloud link;

Thank you for spending your bundles watching my videos and interviews;

Thank you for being the best marketing team on the planet – you’ve got so much soul;

Thank you for spreading my words even though they may compromise your position from time to time;

Thank you standing up for me and many others;

Thank you for spending your savings on my shows;

Thank you my people for allowing me to be;

Thank you Rwandan diaspora for strengthening me;

Thank you la familia for respecting my choices and giving space for my voice to echo;

Thank you my fellow artist for constantly reminding me what my purpose is through your own creation;

Thank you my Natacha Muziramakenga for always standing by me even when I lose my way;

Thank you Mpinganzima for your kind heart and daily inspiration;

Thank you Isumbabyose Ismael for having a bigger picture of my vision;

Thank you Nelson Gashagaza for seeing the potential and pushing me to start;

Thank you Daniela Kampire for being a low key super fan and sponsor;

Thank you Muriel for spreading my work with so much pride – you make me smile a lot;

Thank you all social media fam for keeping up with my madness;

Thank you all that I won’t be able to name for your deeds speak for themselves;

Thank you all blogs, magazines, newspapers, radio and TV stations who made room for me to express myself comfortably;

Thak you Innovation Village, Impact Hub, The Manor Hotel, CECYDAR for trusting me with your space – That’s huge!

Thank you all fans and friends across the globe, an artist is nothing without an audience. You validate my dreams. Our dreams. You are small but generous. You are my sponsors. You make it happen.

Thank you young-but-ready person for allowing my words to sink into your heart;

Thank you stranger for your talking to me as if we have known each other for years;

Thank you die hard fan for being part of the #expericment series. Episode 4 (The finale) happened yesterday – no official videos yet but I just gathered some pictures taken by friends

The set at sunset. Credit: Muriel Binamungu

The stage.  Credit: Nibagwire Dida

Babou Joe (right) co-hosting with Samson, one of the former street kids at CECYDAR. Very good entertainer. Credit: Ihozo Paula

El Fazo & Don Nova (right) spitting truth to the youth. Credit: Ihozo Paula

My nephew blown away by Elie’s skills while I was rhyming for the kids. Credit: Ihozo Paula

Deo Munyakazi strumming the Inanga, traditional zeither, while singing an old folklore tune to the modern youth.

As for the previous shows, here…

Episode 3 – #Sexpericment

Episode 2 – Storytelling

Episode 1 – Evolution

Thank you Rwanda,

Thank you Africa

Thank you world

Thank you Universe

1key, 1love

 

Expericment 4.0 Finale : Words of Fury

In December last year when Gael Faye organized a charity concert for children at CECYDAR next to Unilak in Kicukiro, I was super excited not only to watch him educate and inspire through his art as he does so well but mostly because he invited me to perform with him. Little did I know that a few hours before the show the legend in person would ask me to write and perform a new version of the hook to M. le président – a powerful track on his fantastic album Pilipili Sur Un Croissant Beurre that speaks out loud against dictatorship and power greed. That happened. Those who were present should tell me what the felt. Too bad I didn’t see any video after so I can share with those who couldn’t witness the power of poetry in motion. To me the most ecstatic part was the jam session. When Gael asked if there were kids in the crowd who could rap, I wasn’t ready for a couple of dozens of young rappers aged between 8 and 16 to fight for the mic and whoever got their hands on it, yo! They delivered! Bars, fam! Bars out of nowhere. My most memorable moment was one of the youngest freestyling from Gael’s shoulders. It was priceless. I wanna feel that way again. I couldn’t believe we had so much unearthed talent around; I wouldn’t use the word “hidden” because it is not. The talent is there, we just haven’t done enough to put it in the light. Paradoxically, we would blindly claim that we are not that creative people. On the contrary, w are. We just do not have the platforms to express that. We need fully equipped theatres! At least two in each province. We need people to believe in us enough to invest in our potential before the brain drain turns into a hemorrhage. We need recreational centres with tools that boost the youth’ artistic sides, we need sports centres, bars with more musical instruments, more interactive games and definitely less Tv screens. If only we dedicated 1/1000th of the time and energy we spend on European football, maybe some of our kids would have their own iconic posters on the walls of this city in the future.

I had given up on doing the expericment finale but then I realized that the series isn’t complete until its job is done- to inspire the young ones. 

That is why the #Expericment (4.0) Finale: Words of Fury is for all the diamonds in the dirt out there. I wish I could share the stage with all the young poets, singers, rappers hungry for the spotlight but I can’t do that in one night. So I made a small selection from my list but promise you, you will see fire. 

I’m planning to have a 4-day workshop with former street kids (mayibobo) aged between 7 and 14 who found home at CECYDAR (Centre Cyprien et Daphrose Rugamba), in the presence of the spirit of one the greatest poets Rwanda ever birthed to learn and dream together, and maybe inspire each other.

The show will be in Kinyafranglais, which is the new Kigali language since rare are the people who can hold a 5-minute conversation without mixing Kinyarwanda, French and English.

To attend or support, state your price and pay whatever you want with Mobile Money onto my number: 0788353630

This will be the final show on the #expericment series. If you wanna more about the journey, here’s a little a little bit of it.

#Expericment Finale

image

image

image

image

image

image

So that #Sexpericment did happen as promised and yo! It was damn hot! Sexy and a half. I enjoyed myself. Ahem! I owe its success to the die-hard fans (Wankers) both on these virtual streets and in the real world. You are the real deal. I’m gonna name a few if you don’t mind. Thank you Daniela, Murielle, Nash, Poupoute and everyone who always represent. I got mad love for y’all. My favorite part of the show was being next to Alpha, the stage manager on #Expericment 3.0, and watch the beautiful souls that are Natacha Muziramakenga, Lamel Shaw, Tony Cheryl, Barbrah, Angel Mutoni, DopeGurl and Sharon Bayingana slay. I mean that delivery, shall we talk about it? And the amazing band, did you feel what I felt? I’m grateful for Isumbabyose who always goes the extra mile to make sure we have quality footage and editing. I love you my man and wish you success. Ngutuye ka karirimbo ka Meddy “Ntacyo nzaba!” Pose, the film and photography company, also represented. Thank you Iba. A big thanks to the management of The Manor and Mambo for providing the space; Malik, thank you for the food and refreshments during rehearsals that happened at Another Cat studio. The energy was up at all time. Last but not least, I wanna thank you all who would kill to attend the show but are outside Rwanda while many of my friends haven’t attended any. I believe a time will come when the show comes to you. You get me and it feels great.
Like I said on the show, I am not sure the #Expericment 4.0 (Finale) will happen as I am completely tapped out. So bad that we had to fundraise during  the show so the band can get paid. We collected some but we’re still short. So if you wanna contribute, please don’t hesitate. You have my number.
All in all, my heart is filled with gratitude. It’s been an interesting journey of discoveries and I still have hope that we can pull off the grand finale. Until then…
Take care of yourselves and yours.
Thank you
#1key #1Love

#Expericment 3.0

I believe at this stage many of you have mastered the art of articulating the word “expericment”. At same time I won’t lie to you, I do take pleasure in watching some of you hiss “essiperisssickm–” Guilty pleasure that is.

I also believe that those who came to the two previous episodes know by now that each episode has its own sound, color and texture. In other words each one has a unique concept to it. At the end of the first show, I gathered that the tight hugs, firm and loose handshakes, a salute here and there meant “Well done”. Positive feedback is good. It’s good that the artiste knows that he made his audience feel (whatever that feeling might be.) It cannot only be positive. Every now and then, it would be nice to be reminded a few things that need to be improved. For example, a friend told me recently “You have no excuse messing up your own lyrics.” I was about to defend myself with the It-takes-a-lot-to-put-a-show-together-when-you-are-solo excuse for not having enough time to rehearse but then it hit me, “As a poet, all I have is words. If I can’t get them right, what am I doing?” And now that I know that my gibberish doesn’t go unnoticed, I have to work on that. A few friends who blog had promised to do the Expericment review but never did. I guess they got busy. However, this tweet did it for me. I don’t know about the definition part of an artist though I do appreciate that she took the time to analyze it all and effortlessly summarize two hours into about 20 words.

Teta tweet

The concept was “The Evolution of the Storyteller” even though nobody asked “What was all that about?” or maybe it was too obvious. I don’t know. Right now I feel like giving Samantha two free tickets to the #Expericment 3.0.

But before we get into that, there was the #Expericment 2.0, which was simpler in terms of execution- A band, a stool and a storyteller. That is because I wanted to focus on the lyrical content. There were some local guest artistes of course and improvs- something you should always expect on this series. Have a look at the videos

Now what do we do next? “We” because I tried to involve YOU, ladies and you didn’t seem to be interested. For a week I asked you to join me in designing the #Expericment 3.0 and you didn’t show much interest. However, I had a plan B. Not sure you’ll like it but TADA!!Exp 3_Profile

Need I say more besides the fact that the owner of the pantie is no one else but… A Girl Has No Name. She went missing though and if you can help me find her by bringing a female friend to the show, I will be satisfied. And probably the only man on Earth to feel that way or else I’ll tell all about how that piece of cloth ended in my hand. If you are into that kind of talk, I’ll see you at The Manor Hotel after work on Friday 8th July. Zoom in the poster for more details. Right now Salt ‘N’ Pepa’s tune is in my head on repeat. “Let’s talk about sex, baby; Let’s talk about you and me; Let’s talk about all the good things;  And the bad things that may be; Let’s talk about sex.” Let’s talk about sexpericment.

PS: Dress to tease if you want to spice up the night. I will do the same. Who am I kidding, though? You know me. Adam’s wear costs nada.

See you on the second Friday night of July beautiful hot romantic horny beings!

1key, 1love.

#Expericment 2.0 > 3.0

The second edition of the #expericment happened on the same day and time as the most entertaining event in the sports world- The 2016 Champions League final. I had announced the date of show in the first week of May and that didn’t seem to be a problem until the weekend kicked in. I believe that affected the turnout; in a positive way though because it drew the line between those who just want to be entertained and hardcore supporters. Thank you!
I will let the people who came through to comment about how the show went down. Videos and interviews will be available next week for youtubers. If you ask me, It felt like a house party in which I was promoting my upcoming show. Pretty cool!
We connected, revisited our history, questioned our existence,  enjoyed our present, laughed occasionally, and inspired the future.
I had a great time and I believe so did everyone. The pics below (courtesy of Jabo, I believe) may give you hints about what you missed.
Special thanks to everyone who went out of their way to buy tickets with mobile money for the first time. Someone had said, “Rwandans don’t believe in pre-sales unless you are Stromae and they all don’t have Mobile Money.” True! One fact though: About 60 Rwandans and non-Rwandans bought their tickets with Mobile Money (mostly pre-ordered) then skipped the Champions League final to  attend the #expericment. Yes that is a small number you would say but to me that is way better than a noisy stadium. Did I break even? Not even close to the half of it. But somehow I managed to pay my crew. That’s all that matters for now. Me? My debts are getting deeper than my poetry :). but that is totally expected in the beginning, especially on the Rwandan market. Someday this sweat will buy my mom a house that reflects here beauty. You’ll see.
Moving on swiftly, let’s talk about the #Expericment 3.0. Like I said it on 2.0 the next show is going to be a tribute to women. How? I don’t know yet and that is why I would like you to design it.  So ladies…
  • What would be the perfect date and venue? (It’s gotta be after Ramadhan)
  • Should there be a theme?
  • Should it be restricted (“Women only” or “PG18” etc.)?
  • What would you like to be the main focus of the show? Elaborate, please.
  • Any particular performer that you would recommend?
  • What innovative ways would you suggest for people to get tickets?

Now let’s give it a week and decide. Keep the conversation going with the hashtag #expericment

Thank you!

1Key, 1Love.

#Expericment 2.0 – The Background

image

First things first… appreciations. I’d like to start by appreciating everyone who came through to the first #Expericment on the 31st of March 2016. Too bad your beautiful faces were not captured in these videos. I also want to thank those who couldn’t make it physically but followed how the show unfolded through social media. Big thanks to the people who shared the content as well. Huge claps for those who landed moral and financial support when I was short of money to pay the band. You are a blessing.

I smile when I remember that day and I feel so empowered to say, “Let’s do it again!” The thing about the #Expericment is to try different ways by which the artist and the audience make the show together. You remember that to attend the premiere, one had to purchase the album online? Well, that didn’t go too well as I learned in the process that not many people had access to online payments facilities and that somehow the process was a bit tiresome. I really appreciate the effort.

On this edition, let’s try a simpler, faster and more efficient payment method that we are all familiar with- Mobile Money, as mentioned in the poster. There is a chance people on different networks might feel left out but I believe you can send money across networks no matter what platform you’re on (Airtel Money, Tigo Cash) and if that’s too much hassle, you can ask a friend to purchase more than one ticket. Speaking of “one ticket” that is the exact amount of tickets I have sold after 5 days of promo. I know we always wait for the last minute but I will tell you how that does not help in this case:

– I have a limited number of 150 seats at Impact Hub and I want to be able to say “Sorry, the space is full. See you at the #Expericment 3.0”
– I want allow myself to dream that I can walk into the show knowing that I have the money to pay the band, the sound & lighting guy and the videographer. By the way there was no budget for him last time and that affected the output. Ismael aka Rio craves for excellence but to be honest I think he did a good job given the circumstances.

Oh one more thing- there is going to be a lot more English pieces on the #Expericment 2.0. I hope to see many fresh faces on Saturday 28th May 2016. The #Expericment continues.

1Key, 1Love.