Gaby Irene Kamanzi is a Rwandese female artist, born in The Democratic Republic of Congo on 12th August 1981. She is the fifth child in a family of six children – 3 girls and 3 boys. Her Parents were always very enthusiastic about music. They both participated in the church choir and her late father was a passionate choirmaster. Needless to say, she started to love music at a very tender age. Additionally, her brothers listened to music for the most part of the day especially during the holidays, and consequently she memorized so many songs that played off the radio. Her favorite musicians were Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston among others.
Her family moved to Rwanda in 1995 and she started to sing actively in 1997 when she gave her life to Jesus Christ and joined the traditional Christian dance band called Singiza. They were often invited to perform at weddings, concerts and other similar events. The then President of the band helped her understand different aspects of music. She had the opportunity of interacting with different individuals from various backgrounds because members of her band were from several churches. Two years later they created a Praise and Worship team at the local church of which she is still a member and from which she has learnt so much.
Some of the challenges that she experienced include being shy and not having the confidence to lead the Praise and Worship team. However, she watched different artists and got inspired mostly by Darlene Zschech’s zeal and confidence in her performances.
Her first experience in the studio was in 1999 when she participated in an album her friend was producing. She helped with chorus, ad-libs and solos. The reaction from the public was very positive. She went on to work with renowned Rwandese Gospel singers like Aime Uwimana (2002), Amani Stephane (2003), Richard Ngendahayo (2005), Aline Gahongahire (2008), Ezra Kwizera (2009), Willy Uwizeye from Burundi (2004) and other different choirs.
In 2003 she released her first song “Sauveur” in Amani Stephanes album “Azasohora”. Her first single “Amahoro” was released in 2009 followed by the video that was produced in 2010 while she was working on her first album “Ungirira neza” in the studio. Her second video “Wowe muremyi” was produced in 2012 and the album was released later that year. She presented her album in March and November 2013 in Kigali and Burundi respectively.
Since then she has received several awards including:
1. Outstanding Achievement-Gospel Diva DIVA AWARDS September 2013
2. Best Female Gospel artist GROOVE AWARDS RWANDA, October 2013
3. Best Gospel artist SALAX AWARDS RWANDA, March 2014
4. Eastern and Central African Artist of the year AFRICA GOSPEL MUSIC AWARDS, London-August 2014
5. Best Female Gospel artist GROOVE AWARDS RWANDA, December 2014. Additionally, she has also been nominated for the following awards:
1. Artist of the year-Rwanda category at GROOVE AWARDS KENYA, 2011
2. Best East African Gospel artist of the year category at GROOVE AWARDS KENYA, 2013
3. Best East African Gospel artist of the year category at GROOVE AWARDS KENYA, 2014
4. Best East African Gospel artist of the year category at GROOVE AWARDS KENYA, 2015
She has also worked with the following international artists during conferences or crusades:
1. Darlene Zschech AUSTRALIA, Rwanda 2006
2. Nicole C.Mullen USA, Rwanda 2009
3. Ron Kenoly USA, Rwanda 2011
4. Joyce Meyer USA, Rwanda 2008
In her gospel career, she has always been inspired by Gospel artists such as DARLENE ZSCHECH, CECE WINANS YOLANDA ADAMS and NICOLE C.MULLEN
Currently, she is working on her second album with the first single “Furaha” produced in June 2014 in which she collaborated with renowned Kenyan artist Esther Wahome. She recently released her latest single “Arankunda” whose video was shot and edited in the USA and is quickly making news in the entertainment industry. In her own words, “This album will be dedicated to the East African region”.
Despite the fact that she lost her father when she was 12 years old, she proudly dedicates her music career to him. She is very grateful to her mother who fought and ensured that she got educated and attained her bachelors degree in Marketing in 2008.
“I strongly believe that I will continue to succeed in my music career and also be able to inspire others with similar dreams”,says Gaby as we sign off.
From us to you Gaby, we wish you all the best.
Watch her latest song Arankunda below.
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