Presented by ¡Como No! and 2 For the Road Productions:
First London headline show for rising Congolese/Belgian star Baloji following his recent appearance at the Barbican opening for the mighty African super-group Orchestra Baobab.
The singer combines rap and hip-hop with Congolese rhumba to create a unique contemporary sound, here performing tracks from the critically acclaimed Crammed Records release Kinshasa Succursale, which featured an all-star line-up of guest musicians including Amp Fiddler, Konono No1, Royce Mbumba and La Chorale de la Grace, to name but a few.
Baloji, whose name means “sorcerer” in Swahili, was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1978. At the age of 4, he arrived in Belgium with his father and grew up in Liège. As a young adolescent, he discovered hip-hop, a passion for tagging, rap & dance. At 15 he joined the collective Starflam, a Belgian hip-hop crew, who released a platinum selling disc “Survivant” (2001). Baloji quit the group in 2004 and turned his back on music.
It was a letter from his mother, whom he had not seen since 1981, and winning a poetry competition in Paris, that pushed him back to pursue the muse of music.
His first solo recording, “Hotel Impala” (2008), as much of a response to the letter from his mother as it was a quest to find his identity, was coloured with influences of soul, afrobeat, and hip-hop.
A certified Gold Record, the album won two Octaves de la music (a Belgian equivalant to the Grammys) as well as the Rapsat-Lelièvre Prize and the Brassens prize for lyric writing.
His new record Kinshasa Succursale has recently be released to critical acclaim.
From the depths of Hackney come a band that are taking over the world with their unique blend of Afro pop with a home grown British sensibility. They are A.J. Holmes & The Hackney Empire. This six-piece are destroying everywhere they play. "the ultimate Afro party disco machine" - Ghetto Bassquake blog. AJ Holmes & The Hackney Empire are also bringing alongs super guests Afrikan Boy and Kastro.
18+ - Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.
2 For The Road
AJ Holmes & The Hackney Empire