Blur, a concept piece by Mucyo, tells the relatable story of the phases in a relationship from start to end. Produced by Eloi El, fellow Rwandan, the EP adopts Mucyo’s artistic inspiration from old school artists to current musicians on the neo-soul and RnB scene.

I’m obsessed with Old School. Anything from Erykah Badu to A Tribe Called Quest, Miss Lauryn Hill (put some respect on that name), Common, Jill Scott, The Roots, The Pharcyde, Aaliyah, Nas, Pac, Biggie, Outkast. All the way to OLD OLD school RnB & Jazz: the Stevie Wonders, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Billie Holiday, Marvin Gaye. My Dad collected records so we had a whole range of this type of music playing in our household. But also, more recent artists like Frank Ocean, SZA, The Internet; I really appreciate Kendrick’s artistry and Cole’s energy… And from the motherland, the Fela Kuti’s, Brenda Fassie’s, Miriam Makeba’s and my all-time favourite: Cecile Kayirebwa (s/o to mums for putting me on). — Mucyo

Using her past relationship as reference, she gets personal and flashes back to the very beginning with “Rewind”. Although she sings of the high a new relationship gives you, she is clairvoyant enough to predict the end of the relationship.

I can see you’re about to ruin me,
Still I let you in — Rewind

It’s clear from the get go that this is quite a personal EP. According to Mucyo, she treated it as a therapeutic experience, releasing all post-relationship emotions using poems from her journal.

Some artists you can listen to if you’re on a chill tip, others you want to move to their music. I wanted to capture both feelings in this EP and they all definitely influenced the melodies and overall sound. And the fact that most, if not all of the artists I mentioned wrote consciously or about love is a big thing because those were the themes of the project (exploring consciousness & love). All of these guys found a way to stimulate your mental in more ways than one — Mucyo

A favorite — Honey — follows with her voice. This song is about the love building, and aims to capture the all too familiar intoxicating feeling. But you don’t know if it’s love or infatuation.

Made me think about him all the time…
Then he touched my body while my mind was at work,
Thinking about how in two years,
This will all be a blur’

Mucyo hits the sweet note ever-so-beautifully with the chorus that expresses the soul and the experiences of loving someone because of the words they tell you.

‘Sweet like,
Like honey,
Soft like,

A word play, or rather, a tasty rhyme occurs in the 2nd verse, and later on an incredibly poetic allusion to love itself as a penetrative experience that leaves a mark.

‘His words washed over me,
Like water on a shore,
On top of that,
He was a connoisseur,
Of my body,
Exploring every inch of it..’

Fun fact: Mike Kayihura, who featured in ‘Blossom’ helped write this tune in 15 minutes. With his much-loved talent, she reflects of the middle stage where you have certain realization and the blindfold is slowly slipping off and you’re less naïve.

He inspires me on a daily basis. Working with him was honestly such a blessing, getting to witness his creative process was magical and he challenged me to write ‘Blossom’ in one sitting – that’s how good he is. — Mucyo

The vibe changes with the genre in “Greedy”, and clear touches of inspiration from pre-2000’s artist in this ‘rant track’. She sings about women’s awareness of emotional manipulation in relationships; and the enabling friends men have. Mucyo gives the raw truth, the honest hurt felt from trying to save the relationship, and the frustration from dealing with a ‘greedy’ partner.

You tell her you love her,
Why put that in jeopardy?
Just to get some kitty…
Are you kidding me?
Why are you so damn greedy? — Greedy

Ending with another 21st century reference to modern day relationships through the act of ‘ghosting’, Mucyo shares the final pain of a relationship that died, telling another story through changing your life all over again over a significant other, and suddenly realizing it won’t matter in the future. The conclusion to the story portrays having to accept loss and learning to heal. She sings of remembering self-worth and the grip she has regained on her life.

‘You just up and left me,
And now I gotta rearrange my dreams
You didn’t even call me,
You didn’t even call to say goodbye,
You just up and ghosted me,
Never thought you’d make me lose sleep’
Will it really matter in five years or so? — Ghost

To get a better feel of her EP, I asked Mucyo one of the most important questions as an upcoming Rwandan artist: With this EP, what kind of mark are you hoping to leave on the music scene in Rwanda?

Wow. That’s a lot of pressure, just reading that caused the wheels in my mind to spin. I mean I think collectively, speaking to all of the musicians/artists I’ve spent time with over the past few months – we definitely want to wake the scene up – throw some color on it. I think there are so many talented people out here but they just don’t have the exposure. I think once we become more unified and start to have these conversations of how to move forward and start the spark – then we’ll be off to a good start and we can build momentum from there. So, to answer your question – yes, I want to play a part but I can’t go at it alone – we need a group of pioneers – the Angell’s, Mike’s, K’Ru’s, 1Key’s - who already have a solid presence, to collectively start this movement and hope it grows – giving space to other individuals who choose this path. We saw the impact this kind of concept had on the fashion industry – don’t see why we can’t expand this to the music industry. Clear evidence we’re more powerful together

Mucyo tells an amazing story about the different phases of a relationship in a way that we can all relate to. She exposes the reality of what it all feels like through a retrospective lens, and through her music offers the listener healing and perspective.

Ines Makuza is a poet, singer, and dancer. She's pursuing a degree in mass communication