Photo Credit: Alexander Popelier

Baloji was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1978. At the age of 4, he arrived in Belgium with his father. At 15 he joined the the Starflam Collective, a figurehead of Belgian hip-hop, who released a platinum selling disc Survivant (2001). Baloji quit the group in 2004 and turned his back on music. It was a letter from his mother, whom he had not seen since 1981, that pushed him back to pursue the muse of music. His first solo recording, Hotel Impala (2008), as much of a response to the letter of his mother as it is a quest to find his identity, is coloured with influences of soul, afrobeat, and hip-hop. A certified Gold Record, the album won two Octaves de la musique (a Belgian equivalant to the Grammys) as well as the Rapsat-Lelièvre Prize and the Brassens prize for lyric writing.

After the release of Hotel Impala, Baloji felt an urge to go to the Congo and start a deeper exploration of his roots. The resulting Kinshasa Succursale album features contributions from some of the finest musicians from Kinshasa, including Konono No1 & Zaïko Langa Langa, as well as a contribution by Amp Fiddler.

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