Scene and Heard – CCCXXIX : Ndakwikundira – Nattyva (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Nattyva-FeaturePhoto3Rwandan born Nattyva is a great example of the cross-cultural nature of today’s music. Mixing the heat of her African roots with the more mainstream influences that surrounded her French-Canadian upbringing, her blend of bi-lingual pop is a wonderful reminder of how small the modern world is. And it isn’t just geographic boundaries that she neatly side-steps, it is generic ones too with her sultry mix of afro-beat rhythm, heady clubland groove, pop infectiousness and confident vocals.

Ndakwikundira is a gloriously evocative song, spacious yet built on strident beats and exotic sounds, effortlessly switching between three languages and yet never losing the listener along the way. Sometimes the communication of music in general and lyrics in particular isn’t locked in the words themselves, but in their delivery, the way they sound, the feeling and emotions they conjure, and that is definitely the case here. You don’t need to know exactly what is being said to know that this is a song built very much around love and you can even see it as something bigger than even that. Ndakwikundira is one more step towards a more culturally connected, border-free (geographically and otherwise), creative, open and integrated world. Now isn’t that something worth helping to build? Nattyva is doing just that, one song at a time.


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