Vibrant creator economy sets the stage for global music and culture extravaganza
Olivier Laouchez, Chairman and co-founder of Trace, today praised the Rwandan creative industries and the country’s vibrant creative economy for providing the perfect platform for staging the first ever Trace Awards & Festival in Africa.
Speaking at a roundtable media event at the BK Arena in advance of the Trace Awards & Festival, Laouchez thanked the many Rwandan partners who have helped bring the music and cultural milestone to fruition in Kigali.
Presented by Visit Rwanda and Martell, a Pernod Ricard brand offering connoisseurs the very best in cognac, the Trace Awards takes place at the BK Arena, Kigali, Rwanda on 21 October 2023. Seven thousand music fans will have the opportunity to experience the live event, while many more will have the opportunity to interact with the event online, on TV and via social media.
“We would like to thank the many Rwandan institutions, organisations and individuals who have worked tirelessly to deliver the Trace Awards and Festival. I would particularly like to highlight our partners at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), the Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB), Visit Rwanda, RwandAir, RBA, the BK Arena, Kiss FM, VW Move, the Kigali Conference & Exhibition Village (KCEV), Alpha Entertainment, Shoplife, Betpawa and Bralirwa, among many other, who have all striven to make the Trace Awards a huge success.”
The Trace Awards and Festival will take place in Kigali this week between 20-22 October, with the Trace Awards broadcasted live from the BK Arena on Saturday 21st October. The awards will feature more than 50 of the biggest and most influential artists from across Africa and the African diaspora, in an extraordinary celebration of African and Afro-inspired music and talent.
Targeted at lovers of African and Afro-inspired music and culture, the Trace Awards will air on Trace TV, radio and digital channels and on multiple free to air broadcasters in Africa, Europe and the USA,and stream live on YouTube.
The viewership and social interaction is expected to exceed 500 million fans in 190 countries. For a full list of performers at the Trace Awards please click here.
“There are many challenges to staging an event of this calibre,” stated Laouchez. “With 55 amazing artists, this is a very ambitious and complex event and live television show. Rwanda has provided us with everything we need to succeed: a state-of-the-art venue, the agility of Rwanda’s service industry, the technical skills of the national broadcaster, the passion and creativity of the country’s creator economy, the entrepreneurship of Rwandan businesses and individuals, and the invaluable support of government in the shape of our partners at RDB and Visit Rwanda.”
As part of its commitment to building scale in the Rwandan entertainment industry, Trace’s multicultural team has worked hard to upskill and develop emerging talent in the creative economy via a mentorship programme in conjunction with Africa in Colours and the MasterCard Foundation, which pairs young creatives with experienced professionals in events, broadcasting, content creation, marketing and more.
As well as working with Rwandan suppliers, Trace has injected welcome investment into Rwanda by booking out thousands of hotel rooms at the Serena, Marriott, The Retreat and Milles Collines, reserving hundreds of flights on RwandAir routes from Johannesburg, London, Lagos, Paris etc. and hailing hundreds of vehicles and cars thanks to VW Move, the official transport partner.
From a music perspective, the Awards has given a global promotional platform for Rwandan artists who have been nominated in awards categories such as “Best Rwandan Artist” and “Best Artist – East Africa”. The Rwandan artists Bruce Melodie, Bwiza and Chriss EazyAlso will perform during the Trace Awards.
Many other Rwandan artists have been given their chance to shine at the Trace Festival, taking place at the KCEV (20-22 October). Over three days, the Festival will focus a spotlight on talented Rwandan artists and DJs including Maestro Boomin, Ish Kevin, Kenny K-Shot, Bruce Melodie, Sema Sole, Angell Mutoni, Boy Chopper, Mike Kayihura, Tsonpa, Hottempah Collective, DJ Fans-T, DJ Higa, DJ Rusam, and DJ Irah.
Rwandan brands and creatives have been incorporated into the Trace Festival with brands such as Haute Baso, Ashanti and Bibi Creations working with Trace to curate and create a special 3 day cultural experience highlighting Rwandan creativity and talent and incorporating a retail marketplace, food court, conference and workshop programme, and fashion and beauty experiences.
Among the many Rwandan brands taking pride of place are Moshions, House of Tayo, Sonia Mugabo, Inzuki, KT’SOBtE, Maison Munezero, Uzi Collection, Rwanda Clothing, N’intoki, Ki-pepeo Kids, Wearfragile, Bibi Creations, Kalunza, Gahaya Links, Irebe, Mwinda, Tugirimana, Art Rwanda Ubuhanzi, KomezArt, Wood Habitat, Lisa Marler, Laini, In Wood, Mass Made, and Master Weavers. Rwandan creative collective “63 Create ” will be using its expertise to create content around the Trace Festival and Kalunza, the South African fashion and laptop accessories brand will make its first international presentation at the Festival.
Delicious bites, snacks and treats at the Festival are being provided by a variety of Rwandan food entrepreneurs including Pat’s Bangerz Food Truck, Bunz, Choma’d, A La Brunch, Akwaaba Kigali, Issa Brochettes, Turambe Salad Bar, Jollof Kigali, Torino’s, Vital Organics, and BICU.
For more information about the Trace Festival, go to www.trace.plus/awards, follow Trace on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or TikTok. To join the conversation about the Trace Festival please use the hashtag #TraceAwardsandFestival.
Further information, please contact:
Launched in 2003, Trace is the first multimedia and digital platform solely devoted to Afro-Urban music and cultures, as well as to the success of young people and artists. Trace’s mission is to “Entertain and Empower Our People”. Trace reaches more than 350 million fans in 180 countries. More on https://trace.company/
About Visit Rwanda
Rwanda is the tourism-focused arm of the Rwanda Development Board, a government body responsible for fast-tracking Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Visit Rwanda works with local conservation, tourism, and development partners to create and sustain tourism products that benefit inbound tourists and local communities and wildlife ecosystems. For more information on Visit Rwanda, visit www.visitrwanda.com, or find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
About Pernod Ricard
Pernod Ricard is the No.2 worldwide producer of wines and spirits. The Group, which owns 17 of the Top 100 Spirits Brands, holds one of the most prestigious and comprehensive portfolios in the industry with over 240 premium brands distributed across more than 160 markets. Pernod Ricard’s portfolio includes Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute, and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Malibu liqueur or Luc Belaire, G.H. Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes. The Group’s mission is to unlock the magic of human connections by bringing “Good Times from a Good Place”, in line with its Sustainability and Responsibility roadmap.
About Maison Martell
The oldest of the great cognac houses, founded by Jean Martell in 1715, Maison Martell is renowned throughout the world for the finesse and elegance of its cognacs, the result of a legacy of savoir-faire handed down through nine generations. Together with a passion for its craft and a profound attachment to the terroir, Maison Martell is defined by the audacity with which it has challenged convention to create new expressions of cognac, including Martell Blue Swift, a VSOP Cognac aged in bourbon casks. The free spirit of the House is symbolised by its historic emblem: the swift. For more information on Martell, visit www.martell.com.
About Luc Belaire
Luc Belaire is a premium brand produced in France – the hallmark of quality in the world of fine wines. Our 5th and 6th generation father-and-son winemakers oversee the production of each bottle of Luc Belaire at their Maison in Montagny-les-Beaune, established in 1898. Luc Belaire celebrates France’s place as the originator of fine sparkling wine, combining grapes of rare quality with the craftsmanship that can only be found at a family-operated winery like ours. For more information on Luc Belaire, visit www.lucbelaire.sovereignbrands.com.
Operating from Kigali, RwandAir is the national airline of Rwanda, with a fleet of modern aircraft, and serves 25 destinations across Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. The airline has a reputation for delivering a premium service to all its customers, while also promoting Rwanda’s tourism and trade industries. RwandAir has received numerous awards for its service, including the “Best Airline Staff in Africa” award at the Skytrax World Airline Awards.