Mishoo the Drumkit
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 KallĂ© and Fela Kuti. It wasnât until his family moved to TĂŒbingen, 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 Clanâs âEnter the 36 Chambersâ 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 âMastermindâ 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 TĂŒbingen 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 Mishooâs â âThe Sagitariansâ, a collaboration of his with producer Jewelz.
In 2006 he realized an idea heâd 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 TĂŒbingen 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 heâd only connected with through MySpace and other music networks much like how âThe Foreign Exchangeâ LP came together, logically one of Mishooâs favorite albums.
Coming back to the basic idea, âBorn in the Land of a Thousand Hillsâ, 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. âBorn in the Land of a Thousand Hillsâ features an array of young artists that crossed Mishooâs 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; âŠhowever every track has a certain abstract twist to it while never forgetting its hiphop roots â Mishoo calls it âelectro soulâ.
âBorn in the Land of a Thousand Hillsâ is available around Christmas 2008 as an online release via www.mishoothedrumkit.com
written by Holger Jenss