Video

You Need to Hear Pongo's New Blend of Kuduro and Electronic Pop

Watch the new music video for "Kuzola," Pongo's solemnly beautiful track.

Pongo continues her narrative following the popular prelude origin story presented in "Tambulaya."

Her latest single, "Kuzola," is a beautiful and heart-wrenching story told through music.


The Lisbon-based artist expands on the captivating tracks of her latest EP, Baia, with this music video, giving us a painful visual to the lyrics she soulfully sings.

A fresh break from her EDM, bass-bumping sound, Pongo delights us with a melodic pop, Langan, and Zairian infused emotional song that still contributes to her active cause of reviving Kuduro music.

According to her team:

"Pongo embodies the renewal of Kuduro, mixing her African, Langan & Zairian roots with EDM, bass music, dancehall & melodic pop. Her powerful, rhythmic, but equally fragile & sensitive voice draws us into her world, on the borders of dance & saudade, where no one has taken us before."

"Kuzola" is a broken love story told from the perspective of a woman abandoned by her unfaithful husband. Pongo's ability to encapsulate pain, naivety, and betrayal, and connect with the audience, all while sitting in one spot, is exceptional to say the least.

The music video is simple, yet contains amazing cinematography with rich, dimensional lighting, and overall production value that has both symbolic and alluring elements. The video was arranged directed and performed by Raphaël d'Hervez with Chip & Dale.

Watch the official music video for "Kuzola" below, and fall in love with Pongo's music. "Kuzola" is available on YouTube and Spotify. Pongo's EP is coming soon.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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