Based: Rwanda

It’s not every day that a disc jockey is invited to a higher learning institution to give students a career talk. But Arnaud Mugisha Gatera, professionally known as DJ Marnaud, is an exception. Last year alone, the 24-year-old received invitations from three different local universities to give their students a career talk, following persistent requests from the students.

“I was hyped at the prospect of inspiring thousands of students, but I wasn’t available as I had different tours abroad,” he says, and adds, “But I want to do it this year.”

At the East African Party concert at Amahoro Stadium’s parking lot on New Year’s Day, DJ Marnaud fell just short of overshadowing the night’s main act, US-based Rwandan artiste Meddy.

He was an MC, singer, hype man, and everything in between. He even brought his own live band on stage. And, boy—they didn’t disappoint.

His virtuoso performance brought back memories of the Liberation Day concert at the Kigali Convention Centre in July, 2017, when DJ Marnaud opened for Nigerian singer Mr. Eazy. This is where it all began.

By his own admission, it was his first major gig, and he has never looked back. It was the night when DJ Marnaud proved his hype man credentials.

“After Mr Eazy, I was part of all the biggest concerts in town. Every time I would go on stage there would be a change,” he says.

Later that year, he took his magic to the Mutzig Beer Fest at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Nyamata, before opening the stage for Nigerian dancehall act Patoranking at the KigaliUp Music Festival.

“I’ll be in Belgium on March 9, at the Birmingham Palace, for an event organised by Team Production ASBL. From there, I’ll go to Paris, where I’m scheduled to perform with DJ Princess Flor.