Rwandan farmers The Good Ones have released their new album and first for ANTI-, Rwanda, You Should Be Loved today.
Directed by Marilena Umuhoza Delli, watch new footage of them performing music from the record on the remote, Rwandan hilltop they live on HERE. The Good Ones utilize one-of-a-kind instruments in their music, often incorporating their own farming tools as percussion. Vocalist and guitarist Adrien Kazigira continues to subsist as a farmer on the land that he and his children were born on, where he hid for months and survived the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and the place where his wife died.
Since they live without electricity and have had little access to devices to reproduce musical recordings, The Good Ones’ vocalizations are based on the singing traditions and dialect of their local immediate, agricultural district more than by outside and Western influences. Primary songwriter Adrien Kazigira interweaves intricate harmonies with co-singer, Janvier Havugimana, in a style frequently referred to as “worker songs from the streets.” With the musicians rural origins, the harmonic similarities to American Bluegrass vocals is often eerie. Third member, Javan Mahoro, lends additional background vocals and percussion on select songs.
The stellar musicians who collaborated with them on the new album convey the Good Ones renown: Wilco’s Nels Cline, TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker, My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields, and Fugazi’s Joe Lally. In 2009, Grammy-winner Brennan (Tinariwen, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Zomba Prison Project) traveled to Rwanda in search of local music with his Italian-Rwandan wife, filmmaker and photographer, Marilena Delli. After two weeks of crisscrossing the country and listening to countless artists, they met The Good Ones.
From the moment he laid eyes on them, Brennan said he knew, “What these guys do is precious and rare. Don't fuck it up!”
In 2010, The Good Ones released their debut album, Kigali Y Izahabu (“Kigali of Gold”), making them the first Rwandan artists to distribute internationally songs in the language of Kinyarwanda. In 2015, they released their follow-up album, Rwanda Is My Home. It was named one of the Top 50 Albums of the Year by the Sunday London Times.