A wind of change is blowing over the cultural landscape of Kinshasa.
An amazing alternative scene is thriving, it can’t just be defined or looked at with the usual western eye as “african music”, “world music” with that sense of exoticism… no, it is modern, explosive, vibrant and challenging the scenes of the usual Berlin, London, L.A etc... with no hold.
These sounds are emanating from the ghetto and downtown clubs in between the Governments imposed power cuts. The artists actually bring something alive, strong new ideas with DIY constructed instruments with a powerful and unique drive. This movement is expressive, lively, inventing everything from nothing and it’s happening now.
La Belle Kinoise production have been working in Kinshasa with musicians since 2004. The KOKOKO! project was born from a change in mentality and a radicalisation of the people, which we’ve witnessed with our own eyes. With the constant degradation of quality of life, Kinshasa’s youth began to question the taboo of ‘respect for one’s elders’ – denouncing the state of a society paralysed by fear. This spirit of protest is something entirely new.
KOKOKO! is the soundtrack of Kinshasa’s tomorrow.
Recording, producing and artistic direction comes from prolific producer débruit, known and respected for his modern composition and hiw work with African, Middle Eastern sounds he helps craft the raw energy and sounds into a record and live performance spectacle.
For the project’s first phase, we worked with a band from the Ngwaka neighbourhood, a psychedelic electronic music band playing repetitive patterns crafted on self designed string instruments and other percussive inventions made from recycled scrap material, Lady Aisha, a true diva who adapts traditional songs of the Luba people over house/punk funk beats, and Makara Bianko, the young MC creating a brutal hybrid of "coupé décalé" with a punk attitude he calls "Zagué".
KOKOKO! is a coupling of two sonic worlds, in which every artist will benefit from the other.