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What Music and Singing Mean to Me feat. Keke

Soon after getting to know Keke a little better, we realized how her life revolved around her great love for music and singing. Often, we talk about her performances and the songs she is practicing. For us at Bean United, Keke telling us about her work and her passion for music gives us a better insight into her day-to-day life in Bujumbura. Also, it is so beautiful talking to people and hearing them share what they are most passionate about.

Keke, in a previous article, you already told us more about how you began singing at church and with your family. Can you tell us a little more about what music and singing mean to you?

"Music is medicine to me, to my heart and my soul. I can't live without it. Music is a part of me. So, singing means a lot to me. I do it as a job, and with it, I can express my feelings, my emotions, and I also believe that music can touch and heal the hearts of others. Music allows the artist to articulate feelings and, at the same time, it gives the listener a space to relate, to learn, or simply to vibe with the music. For me, music is a friend, a tool to think and to clear my head, and a form of communication."

A woman in a black dress is standing, eyes closed, on stage with a micrphone infront of a dark background.
Keke on stage

This is so beautiful! How would you explain what music is?

"Firstly, music is a combination of sounds. But the meaning of music is subjective. This is the most valuable thing about music: One song can mean ten different things to ten different people. Music is transformative, it is healing and highly vibrational, of course depending on the kind of music you listen to. I think that music is the language of the world, and it is the best and most direct way to share, to feel, to resonate with one's own emotions and those of others."

Can you tell us more about your career as a musician?

"I already told you about singing at home and at church. In 2013, I started my solo career doing karaoke. But without my father's knowledge at the time. My mum knew, but I told my father later. I was always inspired by my choir mates, and I thank them very much for pushing me and believing in me. It was in the choir that I met the guys who are now my band mates. They were already performing, and they asked me to join them. So, between 2013 and 2016, we performed together. In 2016, I finished school and moved to Kenya for two years. But we stayed in contact, and when I came back to Burundi in 2018, I rejoined the band in Bujumbura."

What is the dynamic within the band like?

"We are like brothers and sisters. That's why it is so easy for us to stay together, even if one of us travels and leaves Burundi for a while. Whenever one of us returns, there is a place in the band - like in a family."

A woman and two men sitting infront of microphones and a keyboard. The woman is smiling, one of the men is wearing a black cap.
Part of the band

Can you talk about your favorite music and how you choose songs to perform?

"I like old African school songs. Also, my favorite singers Tina Turner and Whitney Houston are musicians whose music I often practice. When I find a song that I love and that suits me well, I practice it a lot and make sure it is also a good song for the public to listen to."

You perform most days of the weekend. What is the feeling on stage like for you?

"The feeling on stage is just... something else. I find my peace even if I am stressed. Music and singing are the best medicine. It is on stage that I found my personality."
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