Baloji is an artist with a unique take on the world. Born in the Congo and raised in Belgium he’s navigated his way through the music industry an experimental, predominantly French-speaking rapper and singer. Layering his vocals over a heady mix of synths, drum machines and sampled afrobeats and afrodisco, he’s updating the legacy of 70s African music with the experiences of the diaspora and creating something entirely new in the process.
As you might expect Baloji has never shied away from the political in his work and his new single ‘L’hiver Indien’ (Indian Winter to you non-francophones) is a perfect example of his oeuvre. Sung from the perspective of a refugee living in Europe it uses the weather and change in surroundings as a metaphor for the culture shock and struggles to adapt to their adopted home. For such a complex subject Baloji deals with it with incredible deftness, playing with the idea of refugees being ‘exiled inside, chained to the radiator’ in the winter.
The accompanying video, premiering today on Notion, strikes that same balance, Baloji dressed like a 70s star as he runs through the track on a late-night show, backed by dancers and a full band. Speaking about the track and video Baloji said “the video is an extract of my self-directed forthcoming short film KANIAMA SHOW, a satire about soft power and propaganda on late night talk shows. The song is from a refugee’s perspective on exile and isolation, represented in their having to adapt to the long European winters.” Watch the video for ‘L’hiver Indien’ below.
Baloji tours the UK this October, see dates and get your tickets here.
15 OCT – Brighton, UK – The Haunt
16 OCT – London, UK – Jazz Café
17 OCT – Bristol, UK – Fiddler’s
18 OCT – Leeds, UK – Belgrave Music Hall
19 OCT – Gateshead, UK – Sage 2
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