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Episode 7229th September 2022 • 54Lights • Kondwani Mwase
00:00:00 00:32:45

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In this episode, host Kondwani Mwase is joined by Rwandan urban music icon, Cassa. Cassa emerged from the music scene via private radio station Contact FM and has gone on to tour alongside the likes of Lupe Fiasco and Delasoul. He was also chosen specially to perform a tribute to Music Producer Quincy Jones!

Among other things, Cassa opened up about his musical journey, the source of his inspiration as well as his writing process. Listen in to hear an infectious and energetic conversation highlighted by his hit song, Dis O Dat, which is featured throughout the course of the episode. WARNING: You'll undoubtedly become a fan of his music and magnetic presence.

Music for this episode was provided by our guest, Cassa, whose work can be enjoyed below:


Kondwani was introduced to Cassa from a referral from our friends and family at KIF Radio.

  • Cassa’s music journey first began in Church in his birth home of Rwanda at 8 years old. Then when he was 12, he joined a performing group, leading him to eventually recording music at the age of 18.
  • Cassa likes having as much control over his own music and art. This is why he has started to learn to produce his own music alongside his writing.
  • A lot of Cassa’s newest music is very intentional, every song is meant to fit a certain mood.
  • It was only when moving to the U.S from Rwanda that Cassa began to really learn the in-depth and long-lasting impact of slavery. This has been reflected in some of his songs, including Ndugu Yangu [My Sibling in Swahili] on his EP Back to Life.
  • Using a variety of languages in music can be seen as risky, but something that pays off in Cassa’s case. Cassa truly leans into his art and doesn’t even recognise it as a risk.
  • Live performances mean a lot to Cassa and his music, it was something he missed during the pandemic. He wrote his latest EP with this in mind with a strong intention to take this music out on the road with him.  


00:27 “Sometimes the music stops, the rhythm and the reasons gets pushed aside, best laid planned leads inexplicably to an unscripted place”

01:59 “Everything stopped, everything changed, everything moved. Overcome by a soft trauma of motion my body swayed, my mouth smiled, my mind eased”

12:40 “I’m screaming loud who I am, there’s no one better that can do that than me”

19:50 “I’m actually really enthralled by your ability to embrace the risk of using different languages in your music”

25:44 “The more we’re experimenting with sounds, the more we’re trying to recreate it, we actually created a better sound”

30:00 “Even if I jump on a trend, I will morph that trend to fit me”


Dis O Dat by Cassa:


Instagram –

Email guest referrals, comments and stories to (feedback welcome…complaints and hate, not so much)

54Lights is committed to illuminating the African story (beat) at a time. 




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