Aiza NTIBARIKURE was born and raised in bilingual Montreal in Canada. She currently lives in Toronto. She is a singer and actor of theater, television and film. In the spring of 2019, she was declared winner of the prestigious 2019-2020 Allan Sleight JUNO Master Class and, earlier in the year, she won “Francophone Artist of the Year” at the 3rd annual Dynasty Gala Awards, in large part thanks to the significant success of her first disc entitled “Adieu.” As she declares, her songs are made of a mix of throwback R&B and fresh afro beats. She sings in both English and French. Below is our full interview with her.
I visited Burundi for the first time in 2017 with my father, who had not been coming back home for 30 years. It was an extremely stunning life changing experience. I really loved meeting my family members, discovering how deep my roots are
Akeza.net: Who is Aiza NTIBARIKURE?
Aiza NTIBARIKURE: My name is Aiza NTIBARIKURE. I was born and raised in bilingual Montreal in Canada and both my parents are Burundians. I am a singer an d an actor of theater, television and film. I currently live in Toronto, Canada.
My music is an equal blend of throwback R&B and fresh afro rhythms, while my explosive live performances abound with positive energy and charisma. I am also a seasoned actor in theatre, television and film. I appeared in Felicity Jones in the 2018 feature film « On The Basis of Sex ». Recently I joined the cast of Netflix’s original super hero series Jupiter’s Legacy as well as CBC’s hit sitcom Workin’ Moms.
AKeza.net: What is your journey in music?
Above all, it’s worth mentioning that music heals and connects all of us. That’s why I love it so much.
Back then. I’ve always loved to sing from a very young age. I fell in love with the stage in high school, where I performed in yearly musicals and in a very intensive music program at the same time. After studying professional theater at Dawson College in Montreal, I started dealing with my music career with my acting. Presently, I really enjoy collaborating with other artists, especially in songwriting. My solo career has been taking off during the last year. Therefore, I’m excited to seeing what the future holds.
Akeza.net: Have you ever visited Burundi? What have you liked herein and that you miss?
Aiza NTIBARIKURE: I visited Burundi for the first time in 2017 with my father, who had not been coming back home for 30 years. It was an extremely stunning life changing experience. I really loved meeting my family members, discovering how deep my roots are. I enjoyed going to the Lake Tanganyika’s beach and visiting the mountainous region of Mabayi. I hence concluded that my family is very musical for we’d been singing a lot together.
Akeza.net: Can you speak Kirundi? Do you plan to use your parents’ native language in your future songs?
Aiza NTIBARIKURE: I thought about this a long ago. Unfortunately, I do not speak Kirundi very well. Nevertheless, I would love to learn it better and then incorporate it in my songs someday.
Akeza.net: What is the message transmitted in your songs?
Aiza NTIBARIKURE: Most of the time, I talk a lot about self-empowerment and overcoming struggle. I want to uplift and inspire my listeners to believe that they can achieve anything to which they put their minds. I want them to know that they are not alone and remember that every single one of us has something unique and brilliant to contribute to the world. In this regard, I’ve just released a new song called “Show Up” that expresses everything I stand for.
Akeza.net: What would your advice for young Burundian ladies keen on singing?
Aiza NTIBARIKURE: I would promptly tell them: go for it! Surround yourself with people who are better than you so that you can learn from them about the music industry. Allow yourself to be creative and if it brings you joy, then know that is what matters the most, no matter the outcome. We have to remember always that our gift is meant to be shared with others.
Interview by Melchisédeck BOSHIRWA