Rwanda, the land of the thousand hills is the birthplace of MC/Producer Mishoo the Drumkit
who is releasing his first EP as a solo artist these days.
Born Michael Rugamba Negele, to a Rwandan mother and German father in Kigali,
Mishoo was first exposed to African music by artists such
as Pepe Kallé and Fela Kuti.
It wasn’t until his family moved to Tübingen, Germany that he got into hiphop.
He began writing poems at fourteen which turned into penning rap lyrics shortly after, influenced by the likes of Heavy D, Common and Wu Tang Clan’s “Enter the 36 Chambers” LP.
Little time after that, in 1998 he founded the group A-Scholars with DJ Madsen and Producer JP aka Kutty Sark, which would eventually result in the production of the album “Mastermind” around 2002, a collection of soulful, jazzy beats and personal storytelling raps. The production allowed for Mishoo to develop his skills as both an MC and songwriter providing smooth vocals carried by his low voice.
Around that time he also co-founded a weekly hiphop event in his hometown Tübingen along DJ Sebastian Pohlmann thus providing a new forum for the local hiphop scene and helping local artists to connect. One notable result is another project of Mishoo’s – “The Sagitarians”, a collaboration of his with producer Jewelz.
In 2006 he realized an idea he’d long had, namely forming a live band to perform A-Scholars material with instruments being heavily influenced by the type of sound of the Soulquarians or Roy Hargrove.
When moving away from Tübingen for studies, Mishoo concentrated on beatmaking and production but stayed busy as an MC collaborating with plenty different producers from all over the world, some of whom he’d only connected with through MySpace and other music networks much like how “The Foreign Exchange” LP came together, logically one of Mishoo’s favorite albums.
Coming back to the basic idea, “Born in the Land of a Thousand Hills”, as the title of his new EP reads, is very much a documentary of the path Mishoo the Drumkit has traveled as an artist and a person as he mostly draws from his own life experiences, incorporating his growing up in both Africa and Europe, his travels or people close to him in his music.
“Born in the Land of a Thousand Hills” features an array of young artists that crossed Mishoo’s path over the years, such as producers Comfort Fit, Portformat, Hubert Daviz, Elaquent, Duktus, Swede:art, Drumatic,
and MCs/vocalists Dutchmassive, Mr. Nnaji and Shuanise
with DJs Madsen and Mawdee contributing cuts and scratches.
The sound is truly soulful, yet with an often electronic approach inspired by the distinct Detroit sound of producers like J Dilla and Karriem Riggins;
…however every track has a certain abstract twist to it while never forgetting its hiphop roots – Mishoo calls it ‘electro soul’.
“Born in the Land of a Thousand Hills” is available around Christmas 2008 as an online release via www.mishoothedrumkit.comwritten by Holger Jenss
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