Raiza Biza is a Hip Hop artist based in Hamilton, New Zealand who originated from Rwanda. He experienced quite a bit of moving around  according to The Spin Off article that detailed how the artist moved out of Rwanda when he was still in his mother’s womb. From there they went to the DRC, then Zambia, and then South Africa where he stayed until he was 13, when the family finally settled in New Zealand (2017).

It is obvious that the artist proudly broadcast’s where he is from, just from looking up his Spotify profile it is evident Raiza Biza has a lot of pride in his Rwandan origins. However, since the artist was unable to grow up in Rwanda and spent a lot of his life in New Zealand. This blend of cultures is undeniable in the style of Hip Hop music produced and visual representations put forward.

In an examination of Raiza Biza’s music video for “Full-Time”, the artist is in Amsterdam and Paris. In the opening shot the artist is wearing a dashiki and throughout the video he switches from this to a look with a jean jacket and another outfit with a regular coat. Since the song details the fact that one cannot forget their roots, I feel like the different outfits connect the artist to his different roots. He could be showing a connection to Rwanda, or deeper Pan-Africanism connection to the continent through wearing the dashiki since he has family in the DRC, lived in Zambia, and South Africa. I think he mixes this with the other outfits, because he is showing the blend of cultures that he is made up of.

In the song the artist talks about his struggle in how he “grew up in the city full of concrete trees/ over populated with a lonely live.” Which really digs at the roots of what a lot of the African diaspora feels at times, which is this feeling of alienation in their new host country. However, in his song he says this why he needs to work hard.

Raiza Biza

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