The Future’s Bright for Ras Banamungu, Rwanda’s Musical Champion

Ras Banamungu (left) in new song My sunshine

‘My Sunshine’, the latest video release from the always-listenable Ras Banamungu and the Det-n-ators International is just as chock full of sunshine and joy as the song title suggests.

Following straight on after the runaway success of his latest album ‘I am MessenJah’, Ras Banamungu’s most recent tune brings a new flavour to world music. Once again blending flowing rhythms of both African and Latin-American feel with lyrics and melody retaining still the Western musical influence he loves to add to the overall mix. It says much for Banamungu’s songwriting skills that he continually comes up with fresh, new ideas to aid his mission of spreading the message of love and joy through song and sublime visuals.

The sublime visuals in this case being the strong Rwandan theme running throughout this bright and sunny video, despite the film itself being shot on the beautiful shores of Western Australia. In a tribute to his home country, Ras Banamungu, along with director Chris Kennedy, has created an extraordinarily beautiful work of art. Having recently spoken to the man himself on the telephone here are some of his thoughts regarding the making of it.

The Express News: So what made you decide to employ a mainly Rwandan theme for your latest video?

Ras Banamungu: I felt it was time to draw attention to the talent my country has produced. Also I wanted to involve a little of Rwandan culture, hence the dancers keeping very much to traditionally-inspired steps and arrangements.

The Express News: So the dancers are all Rwandan

Ras Banamungu: Yes, the dance troupe is based in Perth, Western Australia, but of Rwandan origin and perform dances of our culture in national dress choreographed to the rhythms of ‘My Sunshine’. I think it works well and I’m very pleased with how it all turned out.

The Express News: What made you choose that particular location?

Ras Banamungu: The freedom of blue skies, blue seas and bright sunshine provides just the right backdrop for the effect Chris Kennedy and I wanted to put across. He did an excellent job and we worked very well together. He is the ultimate professional.

The Express News: Did you choreograph the dancers?

Ras Banamungu: I just told them what I had envisaged and they went from there, working out all the moves themselves. I’m very pleased with the result.
He assured me on my finishing the phone chatting with him that he foresaw great things for Rwanda’s future and this video is merely the beginning of his contribution towards that end.

On my part, I’ll add that the beautiful dancers emanating grace in the bright sunshine by the sea as Banamungu sings and grooves with his usual panache make his new video a gem from beginning to end. You will find your feet tapping along before you know it. More excellent work from the Laughing Rastaman. His star can only become yet bigger and brighter with every new project. At this rate, I have every reason to think he will go as far as it is possible to go.


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