The Isango na Muzika Awards (IMA) have returned, and this year Burundian artists are being honored. Local radio station Isango Star organizes the awards, which honor emerging talent in a number of categories.
The fourth edition of the awards, which have 11 categories instead of the eight from the previous year, will be presented on December 17 at the Park Inn by Radisson Hotel in Kigali.
Candidates for “Best Male Artist” include Juno Kizigenza, Bruce Melodie, Dany Nanone, and Israel Mbonyi.
In the category of “Best Female Artist,” there’s Alyn Sano, Ariel Wayz, Bwiza, and a rising gospel pair called “Vestine & Dorcas.”
In the category of “Best New Artist,” up-and-coming musicians from Rwanda made their debut. They are the ones making their debuts: Yago, Shemi, Linda Montez, and Malani Manzi.
Chart-topping songs that had fans dancing to their singles are among the “Song of the Year” nominees. These include the songs “Eden” by Chiss Eazy, “Igitangaza” by Juno Kizigenza featuring Bruce Melodie and Kenny Sol, “Fou de Toi” by Element featuring Bruce Melodie and Ross Kana, “Nasara” by Dany Nanone featuring Ariel Wayz, and “Suwejo” by Yago.
For their magical contributions to the hit songs, Element Eleeeh, Kozze, Prince Kiiiz, and Sanatana Sauce are in the “Best Music Producer” category.
Kenny Sol ft. Bruce Melodie and Ross Kana’s “One More Time” and Element’s “Fou de Toi” are competing for the title of “Best Collabo songs.” Harmonize “Lala” by Kirikou Akili featuring Chriss Eazy, “Nasara” by Danny Nanone featuring Ariel Wayz, and “Say Less” by Alyn Sano featuring Fik Fameica from Uganda and Burundian super star Sat-B.
Aline Gahongayire, Israel Mbonyi, and the gospel vocal pair Vestine & Dorcas are the three nominees for the “Best Gospel Artists” category; Josh Ishimwe is up for the first time.
Chico Berry, Fayzo pro, Gad, and Meddy Salleh are the competitors for “Best Video Director,” while “Essence” by Tom Close, “Life, Love, and Light” by Nel Ngabo, and “Musomandera” by Ruti were the winners of the “Best Album of the Year” category.
Renowned traditional dance groups Inganzo Ngari and Inyamibwa, as well as solo performers Rumaga Junior and Ruti Joel, are included in the “Best Cultural Act” category.
The two icons Big Fizzo and Sat B, as well as the up-and-coming actors Drama T and Natasha, are included in the new category “Best Burundi Artist.”
It’s important to remember that Ariel Wayz and Bruce Melodie were named Best Female and Male Artists of the Year, respectively, last year. Best New Artist went to Bwiza, Best Songwriter and Best Producer went to Element, while Chris Eazzy’s “Inana” was named Song of the Year.
Nel Ngabo and rapper Fireman’s “Muzadukumbara” won the Best Collaboration category, and Director Gad took home the Best Video Director of the Year honor.