Baloji, a Belgian rapper with origins in Congo, mixes African world music with hip-hop, rap, French chanson, soul, funk, jazz, and electronic music. Articles and reviews in BBC, The Guardian, El Pais, The Telegraph, and The Independent confirm that his mixture works well; the last of the listed newspaper said his second album was “the most vivid, consistent, and vigorous African hip-hop album since K'naan times of Dusty Foot Philosopher”. Baloji will play at Pohoda Cool 2017.
Baloji started at the age of 15 in the Belgian hip-hop band Starflam (he was using name Balo at the time). After leaving the band (in 2004) and a short break, he began his solo career as Baloji in 2006. His autobiographical debut album Hotel Impala contains a powerful response to the letters that his mother wrote to him in 1981. He received two awards Les Octaves de la Musique (the French equivalent of Grammy) for the album. His second and 2010 album Kinshasa Succursale was given the highest possible rating by The Telegraph and The Independent on Sunday. His latest 2015 album 64 Bits and Malachite is built using unrestrained mixing of genres. His new live show Baloji & L'Orchestre de la Katuba combines live-programmed loops, synthesizers, and traditional sounds of rumba, where there are strong guitar solos performed by Dizzy Mandjeku (legendary guitarist Franco / OK Jazz, Tabu Ley Rochereau) on the background of funny, uplifting dance music.
Also our head of production Mišo Sládek aka DJ Džbán used his piece to start the set at Pohoda Party. Baloji with his “guitar solo pieces” and positive mood hypnotized the audience at Eurosonic. The next day after the concert, he convinced the other Mišo (Kaščák), using a many-hour dance backed by creating sundry sounds, of the good idea of repeating the concert with “most African” atmosphere of this yearʼs Groningen also at Pohoda 2017.