Sad news broke early Wednesday that singer Yvan Buravan had passed away due to pancreatic cancer.
Buravan’s passing sent shockwaves of grief in the Rwandan music industry and his fans around the world.
Artists die but their music lives on forever. As music lovers mourn the loss of one of the biggest talents to ever grace Rwandan music scene, we at Kigali Today, take a look back at some of Buravan’s most loved anthems as we remember the last time he visited our studios in August 2020.
Undoubtedly one of Buravan’s most loved songs, Malaika was released in 2016 to popular and critical acclaim. It also features on Buravan’s first studio album, The Love Lab.
KT Press’ Marie Grace Munezero says that Malaika is a beautiful song both melodically and thematically.
“When you listen to it, you immediately think of the person you love. You miss them. It is a beautiful song in every way possible.”
The love ballad’s music video currently has 1.3 million views on YouTube.
The title on Buravan’s 3rd album of the same name, Twaje was released in December 2021. Twaje as album and the song itself demonstrates Buravan’s path to glory in the career.
“He mixed traditional Rwandan music with modern elements. I think it is a lesson he learnt after touring various African countries”, says Kigali Today’s Eric Ruzindana.
“He wanted to bring something new and unique to Rwanda on the international music scene.”
Twaje, the album, features 10 songs.
Another song from The Love Lab album, Garagaza is favorite for many of Buravan’s fans. Released in 2018, the song features Buravan’s father Burabyo Michel, playing the harmonica.
The message, the creativity and especially that harmonica part, they just give me goosebumps,” says KT Radio’s Germaine Umukazana.
The song’s music video currently has more than 2 million YouTube views.
Released in October 2018, shortly before his Prix Decouvertes RFI win, Si Belle is essentially French hit with some English and Kinyarwanda texts.
Its music video currently has 1.8 million views on YouTube.
Oya, a ballad about a never-ending love, was released in February 2019. Its music video features socialite Shaddy Boo and her ex-husband, director Meddy Saleh, falling in love all over again.
Maybe demonstrating Buravan’s artistry broad reach, Eric Ruzindana says that he fell in love with the song because of a neighbor’s child.
“The kid would only sleep after listening to the song,” he says.
“It is the only song that would calm him down when he cried. It is truly an emotional song.”
The video has over 2 million views on YouTube.
Around the friendship that turned into love, Inkuru was released in October, 2019.
“The song’s main message is that friendship is very important and needs to be safeguarded,” says Umukazana.
“This is a message to people who think that they cannot find love. Focus on the friendship. Love will come.”
Its music video, directed by Meddy Saleh, features Buravan recounting how he fell in love through drawings. It currently has more than 400,000 views on YouTube.
Just a dance
First released in December of 2016, Just a dance is Buravan first attempt at reaching the international market. The music video features Tanzanian model, Tunda Anna. A remix released in May 2017 features Tanzanian rapper AY.
Released in March 2016, Urwo Ngukunda is the song that made Yvan Buravan a household name. It features radio host and fellow musician Uncle Austin.
“This is his breakthrough song. This is the reason we know him”, says Dunda show’s MC Tino, also a musician. “As a fellow artiste I know how it feels to have a breakthrough song.”
Off of his Foreign Affairs EP, Tote (Remix) is collaboration between Buravan and Angolan boy duo, Dream Boys. The EP, released in February of 2021, comprises 2 more international collaborations namely ‘Si Belle (remix)’ featuring ugandan musician, A Pass, and ‘Tulale’ featuring Congolese singer Geze Mawete.
The final song released by Buravan before his passing, Big Time is a love song, not just the romantic type but also love amongst family and friends. Buravan said in the song: “When bad energy keeps chasing, that is when I see love and its power is divine.”
“I like that in the song he shows that there is still hope somewhere that loves still exists,” says KT Radio’s Natasha Kamanzi.