Jean-Claude Irakoze, popularly known as Jiji Seven, is a Sweden-based Burundian songwriter and composer who performs gospel reggae. He has been a successful performing artist in Burundi with over a decade experience in his relocation in 2015. He has released two albums; I AM A SOLDIER, and HE KNOWS ME.
First Steps in Music
Jiji Seven grew up in a Christian family where his father was a reverend pastor in Free Methodist Church. As a little kid in Sunday School, he sang with other children.
Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Lucky Dube inspired him to build dreams of changing the world through his songs to fight against cruel injustice like the one that his family and his neighbourhood faced.
In 2003, he began his musical career in a secular music group called ”REMESHA BAND” at Centre Jeune Kamenge.
In 2005 he received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour and was born again. From that time on, he realised that the best way to bring others on the track would be to spread an exemplary behaviour.
Co-founder of GMP (God’s Master Piece), on September 23rd, 2005, Jiji Seven became the leader of this group. Together with GMP he writes and sings a lot of gospel songs.
They are among the first generation of Burundian gospel artists who introduced urban music in the church, something which was not easy at that time. Together with GMP, they have inspired many young people in the country, and a lot of people get to know Christ because of their songs.
Jiji Seven began his solo career at the beginning of the year 2012 and released his first DVD titled: «I AM A SOLDIER». During his concerts within and outside the country and through his songs, he made reggae and dancehall widely appreciated by people. Those styles became his gospel musical ID.
In April 2015, he released the album HE KNOWS ME.
With two albums to his credit, Jiji Seven has seen the need for art as the healer of nations for which reason he was in Ethiopia for two weeks to attend the Artist as Peacebuilder program organised by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in April 2014. This passion for music has made Jiji Seven’s songs amazing tools for evangelisation and education in addition to entertainment.