CMU Approved

Approved: Baloji

By | Published on Wednesday 24 January 2018

Baloji

Ten years after the release of his debut album – ‘Hotel Impala’ – Baloji is set to release the follow-up – ‘137 Avenue Kaniama’ – through Bella Union on 23 Mar.

A central theme to the lyrics of the new LP is his return to the Democratic Republic Of Congo to find his mother, having grown up without her in Belgium. The album’s title also refers to a story told in a spoken word piece on the record called ‘Inconnue a Cette Adresse’.

Baloji explains: “My mother’s house was originally on Avenue Kaniama in the Katuba neighbourhood of Lubumbashi. When I tried to meet her after 25 years, I couldn’t find her house number. The street just got smaller and smaller, until it couldn’t even be reached by car, so we thought it was dead-end. But then I got out and started walking, and in the end, I found her”.

Musically, the album brings together a wide range of influences, from Congolese, Nigerian, Zimbabwean and Ghanaian rhythms, to funk, house and hip hop. The results, particularly on new single ‘Soleil De Volt’, balance all these sounds brilliantly, turning up different genres for different effects.

You can catch Baloji live in London on 29 Mar at Omeara. Watch the video for ‘Soleil De Volt’ – an extract from Baloji’s short film ‘Kaniama Show’ – here.

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