Baloji means 'sorcerer', a fitting name for a man who has transformed himself from one of the most successful MC's from the French scene into a producer, musician, rapper and all-round musical wizard.
His acclaimed first solo-album 'Hotel Impala' featured the likes of Amp Fiddler and told the personal story of Baloji's return to Africa to find his mother, who he hadn't seen since childhood, and finding a more intense experience of joy, guilt, confusion and insight than he bargained for.
In 2009, he was invited by Damon Albarn to join the 'Africa Express' project alongside (a.o) Amadou & Mariam and Baaba Maal.
His 2010 album 'Kinshasa Succursale' is a re-recording of 'Hotel Impala' in the style of Soulwax Nite versions with local, Congolese musicians.
TThe first single 'Karibu Ya Bintou' features Konono N°1, the legendary band you keep hearing about in Vampire Weekend and David Byrne interviews (they also collaborated with Björk on her ‘Volta’ album). The track is accompanied by a visceral short film, shot on the streets of Kinshasa, site of Muhammad Ali's infamous 'Rumble in the Jungle'.
More projects will follow soon in celebration of 50 years of Congolese Independence.
Future releases will include collaborations with a.o. Sebastien Tellier and Amadou & Mariam.