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Country Rwanda UK Genres dj Website Festival Sauti za Busara 2007
Originally from Rwanda, Kirenga aka Eric Soul does not simply represent a fusion of Central and East African heritage, he also creates a new borderless global vision inspired by an Afropean perspective.
Drawing on his francophone African roots and building on this with the urban sounds of his London base, Soul combines cutting edge techniques in performance and production. He merges traditional and modern musical genres to produce new ways of interpreting Africa through a European prism and vice versa.
He has built up significant, yet contrasting followings in London and beyond through private events, club nights and festivals. His nomadic DJ movements across London and abroad have taken him from legendary underground venues such as Cargo, Plan B, Neighbourhood and BugBar to celebrity hang-outs such as China White, Hanover Ground and Met Bar. He has also opened musically diverse live acts for Keziah Jones, Andy Roachford and Afrikaa Bambataa on their European tours, meaning that he draws upon both an elite and grassroots clientele.
"After exiling from my country of origin Rwanda to Belgium at the age of 3, I exiled a second time by my own will to settle in the city of London in 1996. From a very young age, I've always been involved in various disciplines of performing art. From traditional to contemporary and street dance via theatre through music. Of all the art disciplines I practiced all those years.... there was that one new art form coming from the States that I found absolutely fascinating and mind blowing. These guys were just manipulating vinyl records on turntables but the huge impact they were generating on music, art, popular culture and especially people the globe over was a true inspiration for me. I wanted to be a DJ. There is a global musical revolution happening right now and I believe DJs have been instrumental in bridging the gap between cultures.... So much that now, people are consciously or not exposed to what would have been considered as an unconceivable and unethical fusion of sounds a few years ago.... music such as Jewish Reggae, Arabic Funk, Brazilian Drum n Bass, African Hiphop, Gypsy Soca, Colombian Soukous, Kwaito and the list goes on....
In a way I am very fortunate because I know something that you don't! As DJ, we have access to music that does not always have the same exposition as your usual commercial release, we as DJs get music that is even beyond what is considered as underground... music that will not have any airplay on your radio, that will not be available online or even available at all. I started the AFROGROOV musical movement as a catalyst that would accelerate the natural process for this fusion of sounds to reach a wider audience, be respected as a commercially viable product and to become a creative template for the future of music... May da Groov B with U.... just follow da groov". Kirenga aka Eric Soul
he's now one of the leading Afro-centric DJ's in the UK if not the leading Afro-Centric DJ...
Ras Kwame [Radio 1 - 1xtra BBC]
...when Eric takes the decks, you dont know what to expect...
Charlie Gillett [BBC presenter, world music pioneer]With thanks to British Council TZ