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Sanctuary

by Ishimwe Manoa

Ishimwe Manoa is an East African dancehall and afrobeat artist based in Los Angeles. From “So Fine” – a joyful, uptempo summer track infused with evocative East African lyrics – to a heartfelt cry for social justice in the politically driven track “Tell Me Why”, Manoa makes music not only to express himself, but also to represent his roots: “When people hear my music, I want them to hear the sound of East Africa, because that’s the sound of home to me.”

Music played a big part in Manoa’s upbringing. African born, he was raised in a Christian household where everyone either sang, or preached. They formed a family music group when they first arrived in the USA in 2009. He went to the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts as Vocal Arts Major. ISHIMWE means “gratitude and thankfulness” in his native Kinyamulenge language. He was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. During his childhood, he moved from city to city to escape war conflict and often faced discrimination for his Rwandese appearance. From 2004, he lived with his family in refugee camps from before moving to the USA. Manoa moved to Los Angeles in 2016 to pursuit modelling, acting and music. Without family nearby, the trials of expensive LA pushed him to begin shaping his musical identity as an East African artist and he credits the city for building his industry backbone. Now, committed to developing his artistry, Manoa is ready to share his experience of life with the world through music.

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Ishimwe Manoa

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