Tanzanian reggae musician Innocent N'ganyagwa, better known as Ras Inno, released his last album more than 10 years ago. Since then he has been doing occasional live performances of his previously recorded songs, throwing in the odd song every now and then. Now ardent fans of the artist will be glad to know that Ras Inno is currently finalising a brand new album, Love Story.
There are more reasons for his fans to smile: besides the new album, Ras Inno on 28 September announced that he would make a tour of 10 regions within Tanzania to share his new songs with his fans. Ras Inno, who first made his foray into the music world around 1990, will be backed by his newly formed band, Ras inno & the Innocent People. The countrywide tour is intended to identify new reggae music talent, as well as to thank his fans and the community that has supported him over the years.
One of the reasons he gives for choosing to launch this album and his new band is to send out a wake-up call to other local musicians, especially the younger ones who play reggae, to rise up and meet the requirements of the profession. According to the energetic performer, there are certain identifiable facts that are hindering the growth of reggae music in Tanzania.
Speaking to the Tanzanian newspaper Daily News, Ras Inno said today's young artists venturing into music don't stick to the basic norms. According to him, they do not invest in learning to play musical instruments, or composing. He thinks that it is paramount that any artist venturing into reggae should learn about other music genres - this way they will be able to infuse these genres with reggae as they deem suitable. This lack of personal investment, Ras Inno alleges, has resulted in people continually depending on older artists like him to keep on doing shows and generally to keep the reggae music alive in Tanzania.