Baloji, whose name means "sorcerer” in Swahili, was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1978. At the age of 4, he arrived in Belgium with his father and grew up in Liège. As a young adolescent, he discovered hip-hop, a passion for tagging, rap & dance. 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 after a number of interpersonal disagreements and turned his back on music. It was a letter from his mother, whom he had not seen since 1981, and winning a poetry competition in Paris, 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 music (a Belgian equivalent to the Grammys) as well as the Rapsat-Lelièvre Prize and the Ledocq-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. When he set out for Kinshasa, his original plan was to collaborate with local musicians and rework the songs from his latest album. The result were so exciting that he ended writing and recording 6 entirely new songs (while the remaining 7 tracks are completely re-recorded and rearranged versions of songs from "Hotel Impala"). The resulting "Kinshasa Succursale"  album, now out worldwide on Crammed Discs, features contributions from some of the finest musicians from Kinshasa, including Konono No1 & Zaïko Langa Langa.

The album also contains two remixes, one by UK electronic producer déBruit, and another which features rising Ghanaian-American hip hop artist Blitz the Ambassador. More remixes will follow soon.

Baloji is touring with his recently-formed, exciting live band (which he calls Orchestre de la Katuba).


Springtime for BALOJI & MAÏA VIDAL

Two of our budding artists, Baloji and Maïa Vidal, will be blooming at the ¨Printemps de Bourges" festival this weekend.

Come see Baloji at The Barbican, London

on Monday Jan 30 at 7:30 pm, sharing the bill with Orchestra Baobab

BALOJI joins the Crammed roster

"Kinshasa Succursale", the latest opus by the Belgo-Congolese artist, will soon be released worldwide by Crammed.

Live Dates

No current live dates available!

SOUNDS, Visuals & More

Contains videos & live footage, free mp3s & streams, pictures, press quotes & clippings, and maybe even personal contributions from the artist.