An electric dancer and educator located in Kigali, Rwanda, Urbansong brings the energy with an expressive and powerful dance style. We spoke to him about his artistic practice and work.
Beatfreeks: Great to catch up with you! You’re primarily a dancer, what is it that inspires and motivates you to be a creator?
Urbansong: I am inspired by my roots, my background and my vision for the future. My past was not easy but it gives me the strength to push and really follow up on my dreams and goals to come to fruition. I am motivated by my community, their struggles, their wins and also expressing what I find words can’t really express.
BF: Tell us about your process of creating work, when and where do you work on your practice?
U: I don’t have a specific time of the day where I like to create, I make sure everyday I work on myself, better my craft everyday and with movement inspiration comes. Inspiration comes to me everywhere I might be sitting, drinking tea or walking, and ideas come to me so I would not say there is one place where I create but I do take time to perfect my ideas afterI grasp the idea fully then I go to the dance studio to put it all together.
BF: As a dancer, part of what you do is performance, often in front of large audiences, how does that make you feel?
U: I always set an intention and purpose before I perform, of course this brings pressure but once I am on stage I know that I am not only healing but am healing my audience, I get to release through movement and hopefully my audience can hear my message.
BF: As We Speak promotes your work to a global stage, what impact do you hope your work has?
U: I hope that through my work, I keep inspiring my community through teaching dance, discipline and professionalism. Through my work ,I was able to create a project called Ishami Talent and as the name means a Branch of a tree. I was able to create a summer camp ISHAMI talent camp I was able to work with children and showed them that art can be used to express themselves and their feelings through art also then another branch called Including me which also allowed me with the disabled community and through it also we shared a lot about art and I learned a lot from them, and also another branch called Check on your friends that helps the youth fight depression, loneliness, and the anxiety brought by social media, I really am honoured to be able to work on these 3 branches using art.
BF: What are your ambitions for your work going forward?
U: My ambitions are to see the community Ishami Talent grow and have the capacity to receive more people, help artists to find financial freedom through art, help advocate the importance and necessity of art in our community, I want own a community centre where everyone from artists to children can come and feel safe to explore and express their art.
BF: What are your hopes for the future? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
U:I am enthusiastic that my art will grow, that I will get different international workshops that will allow me to share more with my community and that I will be an international performing artist and storyteller through Body movement, I hope I will be blessed to tour and be self sustainable through art so that I can create a growing community centre, hopefully leave a legacy that it is possible to make art and be self sustainable from it. In next coming 5 years, I will open a business company for art, I will have more projects that allow me to interact with different cultures, tour and learn from each other, I will have different partnerships that will help me increase the impact of ISHAMI Talent Community, and I will grow as an artist also on a personal level.
BF: Thanks chatting The Urbansong, can’t wait to see what you achieve!
You can discover more of The Urbansong’s incredible work by clicking right here.