WHO MADE IT: After growing up a pastor’s son, Jiji Seven—who is the seventh child in his family, hence the nickname—became disillusioned with the church and its perpetuation of inequality. Always interested in the world’s cultures, he started practicing Rastafarianism and began his musical career with reggae. When a few years later, he returned to Christianity, Jiji Seven began using reggae, dancehall, and hip hop to spread the gospel, first with a band called GMP (God’s Master Piece), then solo.
WHY YOU NEED TO LISTEN: Although he currently resides in Sweden, Jiji Seven remains in touch with his homeland through music. He made the song “Intamba,” which translates as “Our pride” in honor of Burundi’s soccer team qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 2019. And even though the team ultimately didn’t make it out of the group stage, the song, which also features Bernice’s beautiful vocals, is an uplifting, rousing hymn: much like the rest of Jiji Seven’s music.