Meet the Burundian Artist AB Nabil Turned Producer, Cinematographer, Musician, and Video Director in Kentucky, USA

His true name is Abdallah NITEREKA. He is known under his moniker as AB Nabil. Born in Burundi, his family fled to Tanzania for Burundi was facing instability whilst he was only two years old. After nine years as a refugee in Tanzania, he moved to Kentucky in the United States of America, where he is now expressing his talents in music as well as videography.

AB Nabil. All Rights Reserved

Firstborn in a family of five children, AB Nabil has encountered challenges before his relocation in Kentucky, in the United States. “At a young age, right before we relocated to the US, I lost my beloved mom and then about three years later my beloved Father passed away. Being the oldest of five, life became a challenge. I was the oldest but still young. I made it a goal that failure and giving up was not an option and so I started doing whatever I could to make sure my siblings were taken care of. It wasn’t easy, but I was determined to do whatever it took to put myself and my siblings in a better position », he reveals.

A music above all 

AB Nabil started singing at a young age in a Sunday school choir. Of course it was not serious as such, but in his household music was always on. He grew up seeing how much his dad loved music, how much music was a big part of family. Hence, it triggered a gift he had inside him. Unfortunately, he never saw that until the passing of his late dad. “When I started writing songs, it was just to release emotions. And then I realized I could actually do something amazing with the talents I have and so, I found a team that was willing to help me grow as a musician », he confides.

AB Nabil performing on the stage. All Rights Reserved

The message conveyed in his songs depended on what he feels like talking about or how he feelsinside. « One day, it can be a broken-hearted song and the next a song of thanksgiving to the Almighty God. I would like then to highlight that some of my songs are inspired by events which take place around me or stories that people told me », he tells.

It’s not easy to be a musician in the US 

As AB Nabil tells, it’s really a tough journey to be a musician in the US. It’s tougher even to him for he’s not trying to lose his identity and the audience. So, the foremost challenge relies in the fact that he provides his songs to an audience which doesn’t speak foreign languages. « I sometimes use Kirundi in my songs although I’m told it’s not the best. So, my songs are in various languages such as Swahili (being the most dominant language), Kirundi, English, and sometimes other languages that I’m not fluent in but of which I know some words. The main goal is to make the song sound aesthetically pleasing ».

AB Nabil shooting a video. All Rights Reserved

AB Nabil is lucky to have people who support him though challenges never lack. “For music and videos, I have a team. Together, we finance my videos, although most of my videos are shot and edited by myself and we still have to account for other resources we might not have at hand », he completes.