Having emerged as winner of the Prix Découvertes RFI (an annual competition involving artistes from across Africa) prize of the year 2018, Rwandan singer, composer and guitarist Yvan Dushime Burabyo Buravan also professionally known as Yvan Buravan gained more prominence from the exposure the contest put on him. Prior the award, his music potential had first come to the limelight in 2009 during the ‘Rwandatel Jingle Contest’, a countrywide music talent search, which he won. Being only 14 then, Yvan decided to first complete school before he could venture into music as a career.

Yvan Buravan would go on to become one of the fast-rising pop stars in 2015 with a bright future melodically. In the same year he released his very first track Injyana, a single featuring Gabby Umutare, and several other hits, including Malaika, a track that has captured the attention of music lovers not only in Rwanda, but also beyond. Other singles include Urwo Ngukunda  featuring his mentor Uncle Austin, and Just a Dance featuring Tanzania singer AY.

Buravan dropped his maiden album dubbed The Love Lab  composed of 17 songs in 2018 and was able to tour 12 countries across African continent including shows in Paris and Sweden. He later dropped a chain of singles like ‘I Love You’, embarking on more collaborations than solo songs hence also throwing Oroha featuring Charly Na Nina and Closer  featuring Uncle Austin and Meddy in the mix. He followed this with a musical break, leaving many wondering if his reign was in its infancy.

Yvan Buravan performing on tour
Yvan Buravan performing on tour (Picture: New Times)

Addressing this he stated that “It’s a normal thing to take a break after releasing a song album, and the journey I’ve taken, and people are allowed to say what they want until it’s about what you’re busy with. I’m just going to give my fans something new. “, Buravan said.

A few months later, the Yvan Buravan has returned to the scene; with an Extended Play (EP), ‘Foreign Affairs’ that has songs that are only collaborations with foreign artistes, as per his current career plan of focusing more on making good use of his connections with African artistes to expand his brand on the continent.

The EP comprises three songs namely ‘Si Belle’ a remix which features musician A Pass, ‘Tulale’ a collaboration with Congolese singer Geze Mawete and ‘Tote’ a collaboration with Angolan music group Dream Boys whom he met when he was in Angola during his Africa tour, months after winning the Prix Decouverte RFI in 2018.

Foreign Affairs EP artwork
Foreign Affairs EP artwork (Picture: Courtesy)

On the ‘Si Belle’ remix, the two artists (A Pass & Yvan) blend perfectly in this soft dancehall song, with the former singing in English and Patois perfectly describing the girl he loves and how she makes him feel. Yvan Buravan on the other hand sings through the second verse in a mixture of Rwandese and French lyrics. The original song was released two years ago and for Yvan Buravan to make it more popular and receive recognition from fans outside Rwanda, he tapped Ugandan lyrical genius A Pass who didn’t disappoint.  Away from A Pass’ December release with Lilian Mbabazi: ‘Ebilowozo’, we could get a new album or EP from mans, hopefully. But for now, this is the latest vocal guest appearance by the Reggae dancehall artist.

The music band contacted Buravan to feature in the remix of ‘Tote’, which has been has among the most popular songs in Rwanda since it was released in 2019.

“When they realized that their song was already popular in Rwanda, they came up with an idea to do a remix with a Rwandan artiste. So, they reached out to me and proposed that I add a verse. It was easy because we are always in touch,” he said.

For the artiste, who had a quiet year in 2020, the EP not only means that he is back after some time without releasing a song but, most importantly, marks the beginning of building his international relations with foreign artists who he believes can be a bridge for his music penetration across the continent.

Buravan said he named his EP ‘Foreign Affairs’ because he wants to build his music career on his international relations with African artistes and Africans in general through collaborations and spread his brand across the continent.

“This means a lot to my music because these are the artists that we not only meet to record songs but who we share a lot with in this industry. This relationship does not end at recording a song together because there are projects which can benefit the development of our music,” he said. “These songs are more than collaborations because these are artists that we usually share so many thoughts about what our music can offer. Geze Mawete hosted me when I was on a music tour in Congo. A Pass has been my friend since he hosted me in his concert back in 2017 and we have since been friends. We can now even brainstorm different ideas that can help our music careers grow,” he said.

Buravan took a break not just to work on the ‘Foreign Affairs’ but further revealed that he had to put things in order to be able to bounce back and deliver the music he has been giving his supporters for the past years.

The 9minute and 46second EP has been praised it for its energy, distinctive vocals and beats. Sang in four languages; Kinyarwanda, Swahili, French and English, Yvan says he sings in various languages because he does not want anyone to miss out on the lyrics because they don’t understand a certain language. The EP is available on all of Buravan’s online music platforms including YouTube, Spotify, and iTunes among others. Check it out now on all digital music streaming & downloading platforms today.