'Water For Your Soul' with Joss Stone in Rwanda

“Water For Your Soul is about finding your own fulfilment, doing what you really want to do,” explains Joss Stone. “For me, it’s music. But water for your soul can be anything. Some people like food, some people like to dance, some like to travel. Music is necessary for me - it feeds my soul, the same way water feeds a flower. It’s also about being brave and letting go.”

Joss Stone, the multi-platinum selling UK artist and label owner of Stone’d Records will perform in Rwanda at the new Kigali Marriott Hotel, on Thursday June 1, 2017. She embarked on a Total World Tour (#JSTWT)— a project that begun on March 2014, where she plays a gig in every country she visits. These gigs include collaborations with local talent where she sings a song of choice in the language of the artist’s tribe using traditional instruments. 

This World Tour coming to Rwanda is a nice thing for all music lovers in Kigali. It is for those who love diverse music genres especially Soul, Jazz and Blues in its diversity and support all contemporary traditional music. So far, out of 204 countries, Rwanda is her 110th country on tour and word has it she arrived in the country with RwandaAir’s direct flight straight out of London to Kigali. 

This collaboration with Joss Stone is organised by AFROGROOV, the local promoter behind the concert. The Joss Stone Foundation works with over 200 charities around the world. While in Rwanda, she will partner with Tubahumurize Association, an NGO that supports survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi as they raise awareness on humanitarian and environment issues.

The 27-year old artist, has been in music half her life and has won several awards. At age 13, she won the BBC talent show Star For A Night, at 15 she was signed to a major label and a year later at 16, she released her debut album ‘The Soul Sessions’. This goes without saying that she has sold over 12 million albums worldwide.

Stone will perform and delve into her seventh and most recent album, ‘Water For Your Soul” while in Kigali. The album is a result of her world travels and is “an album that pulses with the liquid groove of reggae, dazzles with the mix and match sonic adventure of hip hop, shimmers with the exotic sounds of world music and delivers the emotional belt of R’n’B.” 

This album has been in gestation for four years and “It’s really a combination of all the things I like,” explains Joss. “I’ll always have that bluesy, soul thing because it is in my voice. But these are new songs for me to sing, which is exciting.”

“If there is a theme to the album, it springs out of conversations, arguments, ideas about ways of living in the world. It’s about shaking off all the crap and getting up and realising that hey you’re alive today, so move on,” she states in a Press Release.

"...It’s about shaking off all the crap and getting up and realising that hey you’re alive today, so move on.” ~ Joss Stone.

According to Eric Soul Karengera of Afrogroove, “the idea of hosting Joss Stone was to create an ideal scenario where she interacts with the local artists and people and this shows that Rwandans have the expertise to handle such partnerships with international artists once given the domestic support for local festivals.”

It is as such that Joss Stone is set to perform with Deo Munyakazi, a famous Rwandan Inanga player and cultural music artist. This musical dialogue with a local artist is one of no transaction, but is rather one of learning different musical techniques from across Africa. 

Rwanda’s traditional musical tone carries a Pentatonic Scale—this is not a common style of music—that presents a unique blend to collaborations of this magnitude. By thinking outside the box, more can be done to improve Rwanda’s art and entertainment business scene through exploring the untapped talent that is already exists. 

One week before Joss Stone’s show, tickets were sold out completely—the first time this is happening according to Eric Soul. And because it is important to make the show accessible to all by the promoter (AFROGROOV) and artist, a limited and exclusive offer is available with the #JossStoneCompetitionRw and #JossStoneKigaliMarriott on Twitter Hashtags. 

This is one way for all the hardworking Kigali folks to take a break—it is okay to have some more entertainment in this great city that is stunningly coming alive at a fast rate.  A key statement in support of this is by Amanda Burden: “A successful city is like a fabulous party, people stay because they are having a great time.”


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