Raiza Biza is a rapper from Kigali, Rwanda. He moved to Gisborne, New Zealand from Africa as a teenager, and Hamilton soon became his home. As a child, Raiza Biza’s family had to relocate several times. He was conceived in Rwanda, but his mother gave birth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He lived there for two years, and then his family moved to Zambia. After some time, they moved to South Africa. The family’s final move was to New Zealand, when Raiza Biza was 13 years old.
When people are able to experience many parts of the world or several regions, they gain perspectives that are unique and shaped by their experiences. As a teenager growing up in New Zealand, Raiza Biza often felt like an outcast because of his skin, and where he was from. In an interview with The Spinoff, he states,
“Growing up in New Zealand, looking different was an interesting process. I grew up being an outsider everywhere I went, so being different was nothing new to me. But it became very clear how much effect television and media had on the New Zealand perspective of what an African is. Many people thought that everyone in Africa was starving, that we don’t have cities and skyscrapers.”
He goes on to say that people’s opinions of him were the product of their ignorance. He thought that it was less involved with racism, and that the native people in New Zealand were the ones dealing with racism.
In Raiza Biza’s music, it is clear that he is influenced daily by his diverse background. This is something that he cherishes, and uses as a tool to create music. In the interview I mentioned above, Raiza Biza shares,
“I spent a lot of my young life moving to different countries and cities, which gave me this perspective of an observer. A lot of the music I make comes from an observational angle, so when I am in one place for too long, I stagnate.”
Ultimately, Raiza Biza aims to reach fans internationally, and to share parts of himself with the world. His music is influenced by so many different places, and it is important to share that cultural concoction with others. Traveling is something that inspires this rapper, and helps him build a platform as well.
Raiza Biza has worked with artists from all over the globe, and this goes on to show his ability to cross cultural paths. His music shows a true cultural exchange, in the way that his experiences have all come together to create him as a person. Raiza Biza focuses on important themes in his music; such as the praise that women deserve, the effects of systems of control on society, and how to stay strong when struggling. Many of his songs have uplifting themes, which leave listeners with a sense of hope.
Here are a few of my favorites: https://youtu.be/Y2lMPuQ1LUw