Baloji is a poet, musician and director. He also acts as creative director for brands and on special projects (concepts, art direction) and has modelled for Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Kris Van Assche and Edun+Diesel.
He stands at the crossroads of African music, rap, the French singer-songwriter tradition, electronic music (trance, deep house) and Afro-American music (soul, funk, jazz), which he discovered through hip hop culture and sampling.
Baloji means “man of science” in Swahili, but during the colonial period, that meaning shifted as a result of Christian evangelization, to signify “man of the occult sciences and sorcery”.
Baloji released his first solo album, Hotel Impala, in 2008. His Congolese reinterpretation of that project, Kinshasa Succursale (2011) was created in collaboration with musicians from the DRC and awarded 4 stars by the world’s press (NYT, Guardian, El Pais, Les Inrocks..).
& Malachite (2016) on the Bella Union label (the home of Beach House, Father John Mistry, John Grant and more).
His new album Avenue Kaniama, to be released in March 2018, is accompanied by a short film of the same name.
“Congolese-born Belgian rapper Baloji creates a spellbinding mix of old and new sounds with bitingly modern lyrics. They call him 'the sorcerer'…”
Andy Morgan in The Guardian
“On pourrait dire que le Belgo-Congolais en fait beaucoup trop. Car dans un seul morceau, on entend à la fois du rap, de l’afrobeat, du funk, de l’électro et parfois en même temps. Pourtant, ça fonctionne magistralement. Irrésistible et jouissif.”