Reclaiming Burundian Cultural Heritage Through Music, Possible?

Monday 7 March, as the sun blazed down on the bustling city of Bujumbura, something unusual was stirring in the air. It was the sound of Umuduri, a traditional Burundian and Rwandan stringed instrument, echoing through the streets. But it wasn’t just any soloist playing this time. This was something new, something exciting.

KdaGr8test had brought together a trio of young rappers, Rack, TreyZo, and RappyBoy, to create an original Burundian drill track called “Isosi.” The song was a catchy and energetic mix of rap and drill music, showcasing the artists’ skills and talents. But what set it apart was the seamless integration of Umuduri into the beat.

Umuduri added a distinct melodic layer to the song, blending harmoniously with the heavy bass and drums characteristic of drill music. It also brought a touch of cultural identity and heritage to the track, representing one of Burundi’s oldest musical traditions.

As the song spread on social media, it gained popularity and praise from Burundian music fans, who saw it as a way of honoring their culture and history while promoting their identity in the global music scene.

This fusion of traditional and modern music could enrich Burundi’s musical diversity and quality, attracting listeners from diverse backgrounds and tastes. Furthermore, it would aid Burundi in obtaining its auditive signature and proper identity by highlighting its distinct musical heritage and influences.

One such artist is Polycarp Otieno, known as Fancy Fingers from Sauti Sol. His hit song “How I Met Your Mama ” blended traditional Burundian drums with modern instruments,” creating an irresistible groove.

Another example is Kaya Freedom, who rapped over a beat made entirely from Burundian drums, showcasing his appreciation for his culture while demonstrating his lyrical skills.

These artists are using music as a way of expressing their identity while preserving their cultural heritage. They are showcasing the best of Burundian music and enriching the country’s musical diversity and quality.

As we look to the future, we can only hope to see more creativity and innovation from Burundian artists as they continue to make their mark on the international music scene through original “ndundi” beats.

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Iris News is a generalist Burundian media with 6 editorial aggregates that articulate the bulk of its information offer: Entrepreneurship, Ecology, EAC, Youth, Culture and Sport. Iris News, a media from the future defines itself as « The media of possibilities » designed to help young Burundians shape a prosperous and environmentally friendly Burundi.