As the world remembers the horrific footage from media outlets about the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, a group of friends who survived the experience chose to move beyond this traumatic event in history to form a band about peace and decided to call themselves Jah Doves. Many people believe that doves represent peace and harmony. The six member band’s message about peace resonates through Reggae mixed with Rwandan beats. “We all like the kind of music which has the good message, “bass player Ras Patrick told CNN, “which is not about shooting each other, which is building and not destroying.”
The band initially rehearsed with broken instruments in their homes or any available space, until the band met Dickens Marshall, a musician and music producer from the United Kingdom (UK). Marshall heard the band practicing in Kigali and was totally moved.
“The first time I saw Jah Doves they were loud — really, really loud, “Marshall told CNN. “But they had a really nice interaction between the different members. “So the sound was terrible and they weren’t particularly in tune but their energy and the singing was fantastic,’ he said. I think that’s what really hit me, and I just knew, okay, I want to work with these guys.”
Marshal provided the band with much needed resources by building two studios and establishing the record label Rafiki Records. Jah Doves contract entitles the band to take home 50 percent of profits earned. This is more than most artists receive.
“My ultimate goal for the label is for the artist to be able to have a sustainable career and label to be able to grow, and the ethic behind the label to be a concept that people can trust and that people can expand on,” he said. Jah Dove is currently recording their second label and hoping to take their music to much greater levels.