Interview: Get To Know French Singer Singuila's Manager Dave Siluvangi
Good evening Dave and thank you for sitting down with me today. For those who might be hearing the name Dave Siluvangi for the first time, who would you say Dave is?
Ok, well I’m Dave Siluvangi *laughs*, Congolese, 38 years old, author-composer, manager, and music producer for quite some time now and I live in Paris.
Can you tell us a little bit about your life in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Belgium?
I never lived in DRC. I was born in 1980 and came to Belgium in 1982. So I never lived in the DRC. The first time I went to DRC, was for a concert with my artist SINGUILA, and that was in 2007. I grew up in Brussels, the capital of Belgium where I did all my studies before moving to France to make music in 2003.
You mentioned SINGUILA who most people will recognize as a French Singer, what is your relationship and how did you start working with him?
My ties with SINGUILA... he is my first cousin. He was already making music around the late 90s in a band in France when I was still in Belgium. He often came home (Brussels) for the family reunion, and he will ask me for my input on his music. I was still at the university where I was studying literature, and I was not really into music then. At that time, he was thinking of becoming a solo artist, so he asks for my opinion. He liked my inputs, and it became indispensable for him. Sometimes, I rewrote some of his lyrics until I decided to become a little more serious about the music, stopped my studies at the university and moved to Paris around the time he was about to release his first album in 2003.
From there we started working and living together at his mom’s and he taught me how to compose music since I didn't really go with the equipment and in the long run, I started learning on my own. All his first album it was only him and I working on it, we composed, wrote and produced together in our small in Cergy-Pontoise, Paris. So that’s how I started and plus he always told me that I had a hand for music and with time we also wrote and composed for others artists.
What exactly are your duties as an author-compositor, and how you did you become his manager?
I am into composition and production, and SINGUILA does the writing. I read what he writes, correct or twist segments of it here and there, to make it more appealing to his audience. I help with the theme music or direction of what he should talk about in his song. And for the music, I play around with the logistics and put together soundtrack with the melody that comes to mind. He also provides a specific musical note he would like added to the instrumental we working on at the time.
For the management part of it, well it has been almost 20 years that we work together and for those who know us, they constantly see us together. From that all the people that came toward him, he will redirect them to me and that helped me to build my contacts book in France and around the world. Plus it has been a while that I am in the industry, and his old manager who was his brother was giving him a hard time. He told me to take over since you knew almost everybody and even more people than him since his brother wasn’t going out as much. So that’s how I became his manager. As a manager, you are in charge of booking concerts, events appearances, studio time, radio and television interviews, anything that will help promote and bust the artist.
Awesome!! Please let’s go back to the fact that you left university for music. How did your parents take it?
Me I lived with my mom only and you know in Belgium you become independent really quick. At 20 years old I already had my own apartment, my car etc.. I didn’t have my parents, I mean my mom on my back and she wasn’t too happy about it. But she knows I was really close to SINGUILA and that’s his aunt too. She was just observing how things were going, and I also had big brothers who trusted me and when in doubt, they spoke to her, I had the degree needed, and I had found something that I liked. So they told her to let me do it and we will see where it’s going to take me. I was also lucky it that the things picked up really quickly for me, which wasn’t the case with SINGUILA who had some obstacles. Well, when I started his game was picking up, so she didn’t have time to be afraid that it will not work for me. So on that side, it wasn’t really a big deal.
Do you have any regrets about doing that?
*laughs* like I told you things pick up really quick for me. I didn’t have any struggles; real young I started handling the huge amount of money and was traveling around the world. Well, I don’t have any regrets! In the counterpart, if I had stayed in university, I would have gotten my degree, a basic job with a basic pay and won’t have had the life that I have today. Well it has been a while that I travel and in music, there are ups and downs, they are moments where everything was great and moments it wasn’t and since I was with a celebrity, a lot of doors opened really easily for me. So NO, NO THERE ARE NO REASONS TO HAVE ANY REGRETS.
So success was pretty quick for you. Tell me how do you feel to always be in the spotlight?
You know with time we get used to it. Meanwhile, I’m not the one that is really under the spotlight, Singuila is. Me I’m in the shadow; a lot of times that we are at some events, where I saw people because I was with him, and I was even in the forefront and when I see them again, it’s like the first time they see me. Because they had their eyes at the moment focus on him. Even if I next to him, I am not really noticeable for everyone and that doesn’t bother me. On the contrary, it’s even better because I don’t get bothered. So I’m not that much in the spotlight.
Will I be wrong to say yours like his guardian angel? Besides music what else do you do?
There you go, I am like his guardian angel. I have been doing this for a while now that he is really used to it. And even outside of music, I feel the need to watch over him. Well besides music, it’s normal life. It might not be the same routine as everyone else but I have hobbies like working out and movie theater. I really love movies so I watch it at home, at the theater, and besides music which takes a lot of my time because it constant work and you’re kind to force to think about it even at home. So it’s work out and movies.
You talk highly of Singuila. Do you ever bump head with him?
Yeah, there are times that we do argue. But after, it’s life we are used to it, time passes and we are adults. We trust each other quite frankly and if we argue it’s never for nothing.
We can think that y’all married? (laugh) speaking of married so Dave, girlfriend, married, any kids?
Yeah, we are always together and even people in our circle says the same thing you just said. Besides my family and he is family, he is the one that I spend the most time with and in addition we work together so it’s inevitable to be together. Beside that, I am not married, and I have a two and half-year-old baby.
Coming back to your work, what are the difficulties/barriers that you have encountered?
The struggles in the industry are to impose yourself. When you start you are a nobody, and nobody trusts you. So that when you have to fight to prove yourself. So the difficulties are the closed doors, of the start; even within the people you work with, there is a hierarchy, been nothing and trying to acknowledge is hard. That was my Barrie’s I had; show my value and the quality of my work, that I want just there because I was the artist cousin. I had to show that I was writing good lyrics, I was going on stage with from time to time to back him up, and then they saw my usefulness, Close doors, and a lot of NOs at the begging.
What advice can you give to the youth that is trying to follow your footsteps?
The advice that I give it keeps going, and never give up. That’s the advice I got when I started, believe in your work and also do not listen to detractors. Keep pushing and pushing, a lot of workless sleep. That’s my advice.
SINGUILA as you main artist has been on the coach, the voice Afrique Francophone, what’s next?
Now that the Voice Afrique Francophone has ended, we are going to work on more songs, there is an upcoming single, the France tour of with his band “secteur A” and we have the single “Faut pas me toucher” that is now available on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music. We have a surprise with some candidates for the voice but for now, I will not say more.
Well thank you so very and we will be waiting for the surprise.
No thanks to you!
Personage with a very discreet look but well known on the international scene as an author and composer, and producer of one of the greatest artist French RnB Singer SINGUILA, Dave made us the pleasure to talk with us today.
You can follow Dave on All social media as Dave Siluvangi and his artist SINGUILA for upcoming concerts and shows.