Artist of the Week: Angel R. Mutoni
We recently made contact with Angel Mutoni, a music artist based in Kigali, Rwanda for an interview. Her harmonious music and poetry has pushed boundaries in the Rwanda music scene. Being the only female anglophone/francophone rapper in a male-dominated industry that raps primarily in the local Kinyarwanda language. We had the chance to sit down with this young music artist to discuss about her music, her perspective on the Rwanda music scene. Take a moment to read this interview, and take a peek into the mind of this young dynamo.
Q. Welcome to Cult Rwanda. Could you tell us where you’re from and how you got started in the field?
My name is Angel R. Mutoni. I am a 23-year-old music artist based in Kigali, Rwanda. I started writing songs and such when I was 14 years old, but I never ever shared my work. Until I met some friends who were into the same thing in my last two years of high school and we started to make music together and eventually I just continued from there and now here I am.
Q. So, who is Angel?
There’s not much to me honestly haha, I am a regular young adult girl trying to make the best out of her life and do what I love. I’m pretty reserved and shy in general but my music helps me over come a lot of those types of things, so I guess I could say I’m all about the music. Music is my life, literally, right now.
Q. What drives you? What is your motto?
My motto is “Always stay true to yourself”. A lot of us forget that we are our own enemies and we tend to go along with others because we doubt ourselves. So I just say believe in your own self and stay true to what it is you want and do it.
Q. Brief us about your history. And paint a picture of your future plans for us.
Like I said I started being interested in writing since I was 10 years old, but then I really started to write songs and poetry when I was around 14 years old. I’ve always had the music in me and I grew up in a musical family. My father was a musician as well, so I think it was bound to happen.
The near future plan right now is to start school. Otherwise I really just want to continue to make good music that will hopefully inspire others. I really want to tour around the world, meet people and learn about different cultures. I want to live my life to the fullest. But mostly tour, I want to tour everywhere.
Let’s hear first some of her rhymes before we proceed:
Q. Being a music artist is not a rosy job, who helped you and supported you along the way?
Well I have a few people that really help me. I really appreciate them. Whether it’s financially or by encouragement they are always ready to help and I am grateful for that. I got really lucky getting into this music thing, because I met so many wonderful people that believe in me and so I didn’t have to really struggle to get people to listen. But financially, I am still struggling. Things are starting to change with all the gigs i’ve been getting, but it’s still not enough. But the future is definitely bright.
Q. How would you describe your musical style? Or you prefer not to be placed in a musical box?
I do mostly hip-hop, R&B and Soul mixed with a little bit of pop. I’m trying to switch things up every time because I like to experiment. Like I want to incorporate Rwandan traditional instruments and such. But those are mostly the genres I work with at the moment.
Q. What is your biggest achievement? Your highlights on your musical journey?
Well, to be honest I feel like just making the decision to pursue my dream is one of the biggest achievements because I used to be so sceptical and never knew how to get started but when I did I was just so proud of myself. I have never been so sure of anything in my life and it feels really good. Nothing makes me happier.
But if I had to say something specific, I think one of the biggest highlights so far was when I got the chance to be part of the first ever “International Hip Hop Festival” in Uganda in 2014. That was amazing because I was still so new at it all but I was received so well and met so many other fellow artists from around the world. I learned a lot and I was so grateful for the opportunity.
Q. What’s your biggest dream? And what sets you apart from the crowd musically?
My biggest dream at the moment is to tour around the world, I want to share a piece of myself as an artist and a Rwandan to the musical world everywhere. I want to be on the International stage. And headline an international concert. I’d like to think that I am a mix of everything. I have a lot of influences in me, so I can sing, dance, rap (in 2 different languages and trying to add a third one Kinyarwanda), write poetry.
My favourite in one of Angel’s awesome music goes by the name of ‘No Filter’:
Here are some of her accounts:
Hope you enjoyed reading, see y’all next week! Cheers.