Rwanda to France

For the blog post, I was told to find an African artist based outside of Africa. For Rwandan artists, the artist pool was huge. There were so many stories of Rwandan artist who had to flee and went to their respective country. But Gaël Faye stuck out. He was born in Burundi to a Rwandan mother and a French father. At the age of thirteen, he left his native country after the outbreak of the civil war and Rwandan genocide. He fled to France with his family. The reason Gaël Faye stuck out to me is that in his music, he doesn’t fail to reconnect himself to his roots and how life was as he fled from Burundi. In the song, Respire, the song is in french but it’s basically Gaël Faye talking about how life is a big ball of terrible. And how all we can do is hope and breathe because as humans, we have to keep going. In this song, Gaël Faye says “Courir après l’hеure, les rames bondéеs” which roughly translates to “running after the hour, the crowded oars.” He also says “ Le temps qui s’écoule, le vide qui se fait/Le silence épais, la vie c’est la guerre/Tourner dans l’tambour/Amour placébo/Faire semblant pour tout, c’est violent partout/La vie c’est Rambo” which translates to “The time that passes, the emptiness that is made/The thick silence, life is war/Turn in the drum/Placebo love/Pretend for everything, it’s violent everywhere/Life is Rambo.” I think the entire song is Gaël Faye paying homage to the beginning of his life. The song is about being calm because nothing is easy in this lifetime. I think this is Gaël Faye way of expressing his thoughts on his uprooted childhood but how you have to breathe and keep it moving; keeping running, keep going.




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