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In association with Okayafrica
Mbongwana Star hails from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo—a network of shantytowns and night shelters where founding members Coco Ngambali and Theo Nzonza (of Staff Benda Bilili fame) pulled together members of a new generation of Kinshasa musicians embodying the concept of “mbongwana,” or “change.” Along with maverick Parisian producer Doctor L (Tony Allen, Stomy Bugsy), the band has created a sound that embodies the “smashed-together” nature of the surroundings from which it was born—a sound that fuses traditional Congolese rhythms with European post-punk bass and busted electronics from recycled and reconstructed instruments miked and distorted in unexpected ways.
Batida is Pedro Coquenão and Pedro Coquenão is Batida. There are moments where it’s just him in front of a big crowd, and there are others where Batida is a mutant body, with more musicians, images and people masked that sings and dance on stage. Present however is always a sound that is connected to Pedro’s Angolan roots. A sound that investigates the electric past of a country, transformed in an electronic present, molded to the scale of global dance floors. (Rui Miguel Abreu – in Blitz, Portugal 15) “Dois”, his last album released on the British Soundway Records last year, struck a chord in the hearts of both Damon Albarn and Stromae, that took Batida along on tour for a few support Arena Tour shows on last November and Damon Albarn invited him to his Africa Express project twice and, all in one go, had him re-mix track “Heavy Seas of Love”.
Raised in New York City by world renowned Congolese performers, Milandou Badila, known as Young Paris, crafts a unique sound that threads the boundary between rap and electronic dance music and samples heavily from traditional African drumbeats. Along with five of his ten brothers and sisters, Young Paris performs an exuberant live show that merges dance, performance art, and an unparalleled personal style. He has performed at festivals across the world including AFROPUNK in both Paris and Brooklyn, SXSW alongside Arcade Fire’s Win Butler, and POP Montreal. Young Paris released his first EP Rap Electronic in 2014 and the single “Destined” this past July – as well as a number of stand alone tracks and remixes in between. A proud African, Young Paris has also founded the very popular #MelaninMonday series that encourages all peoples of color to share and embrace their excellence and highlight the beauty of their skin.