My dream is to wake up one day in East Africa and play to the big crowds like my heroes

By Beverley Knight

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Like the von Trapps, Lucien Bahati Nziyofrom is from a musical brood. Growing up in Nyarugenge, Gitega, he was fortunate to have a recording studio rooted in his family home, so he was crafting his EDM beats by the age of ten. Surrounded by musically dextrous siblings, Eloi El, Sean Brizz and Christian Iradukunda, and his late father, Sibomana Joseph, a member of Orchestra Irangria, his affection for music grew like a seed sprouting into a sunflower.

Soaking up lessons from his pa and Orchestra Inrangia was a pure pleasure, and he carries that advice around in his pocket every single day. “My dad said I should embrace the freedom to express myself. Experiment with who I am and what I’m passionate about.” Extraordinary things can come, but reaching milestones takes resilience and resistance to failure. It can test creative beings. “He also told me to never give up on a dream because you don’t know what awaits you tomorrow. The industry can be hard to keep up with, but music is everything to me. It helps me connect with the rest of the world.”

His brother, Christian, is the elder sibling of the family. Known by his stage name, Chris Cheeter, he’s another beacon Lucian looks up to for direction in his career. “My brother’s made amazing soundtracks for shows in Rwanda and produced great hits for artists like Tom Close. Between my siblings and me, there’s no such thing as competition; where one of us conquers, it’s a win for all!” It’s evident family is the sturdy cornerstone of Lucian’s life, a constant source of love. “They’re the most important thing to me and my safe place.”

In 2019, he packed his bags and moved to Uganda for his studies, where he experienced a compelling urge to record music. Something clicked. He felt an unexplained need to share his music with open ears. Growing up watching Kygo, Calvin Harris, and other top EDM producers perform live at festivals gave him fire in his belly to follow in their footsteps. “My dream is to wake up one day in East Africa and play to the big crowds like my heroes.”

It’s good to pass the time with a spot of daydreaming and your head up high in the clouds isn’t the worst place to be. But turning those fluffy white thoughts into reality can be gruelling. At the moment, Lucien would like more attention paid to the sounds he produces, especially from the media. “I understand their reluctance to an extent because my style is new and unique. The coverage I see is more inclined towards afro, pop and dancehall music. But given my potential, I believe this will change. I believe.”

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