Video

Pierre Kwenders' Congolese Rumba-Inspired Electropop In 'Mardi Gras' [Premiere]

Pierre Kwenders blends Congolese rumba and contemporary beatwork in "Mardi Gras," watch the video single.


Pierre Kwenders makes unique electropop productions that blend elements of Congolese rumba (soukous) with contemporary beatwork. The Quebec-born Congolese artist, who cites Johnny Clegg and "music from the 80s" as influences, just dropped his 11-song debut full-length Le Dernier Empereur Bantou, which features the likes of Baloji, Samito, Poncho French and The Posterz. The album, recorded over the past two years in Washington D.C., Nova Scotia and Montreal, has already earned him a nod as one of Radio-Canada's 2014-2015 Révélations. In "Mardi Gras," premiering with us today, Kwenders molds Cajun rhythms into a booming pop track featuring Radio Radio's Jacobus. Watch the striking music video for the single and the trailer for Le Dernier Empereur Bantou below. Pierre Kwenders' debut LP is available now on CD/Digital from Bandcamp and iTunes.

Interview
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Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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Interview: Made Kuti Talks Afrobeat, Activism & Family Legacy

We speak with Made about his debut album and the part he's playing in keeping the Kuti heritage alive.