We spotlight 5 creatives of Congolese descent, making waves across Music, Literature & Comedy!
JJ BOLA – LONDON
A Kinshasa born, London raised writer, poet, and educator. JJ Bola published three books of poetry Elevate (2012) and Daughter of the Sun (2014). His third, WORD (2015) is his most comprehensive poetry collection. His debut novel, No Place to Call Home (OWN IT, 2017), is available in all mainstream and independent bookstores, in Hardback and e-Book, nationwide, and internationally.
JJ Bola’s work is centred on a narrative of empowerment, humanisation, healing of trauma as well as discovery of self through art, literature and poetry. Creating the increasingingly popular addage, ‘hype your writers like you do you rappers’, he believes that the true purpose of poetry (art) is to expose the reality of this world and how to, most importantly, survive it.
SOULÉ – DUBLIN
London born, Dublin raised Soulé has been singing since she was a young girl. At the beginning of 2015 she joined Diffusion Lab and began recording music part-time, between classes in DIT. Her influences include the likes of Erykah Badu, Macy Grey, ASA, Chrisette Michele, and Nneka.
Now 23 years of age, Soulé is the first of her Congolese Irish family to pursue music. Love No More was followed by the good time dance jam Good Life and the wounded tropical pop of Troublemaker.
Her debut song was nominated for the Choice Music Prize Song of the Year public vote earlier this year!
EDDIE KADI – LONDON
Born in the DR Congo, Eddie Kadi moved to the UK at the age of eight where he grew up in Fulham, West London. While studying media technology at Kingston University in Surrey, Eddie Kadi began hosting stand-up shows which further cemented that entertaining people seemed to come naturally and he’s never looked back since; he now counts the likes of Tinchy Stryder, Wretch 32 and Miss Dynamite among his fans.
In 2010 Eddie became the first British black comedian headline the O2 Arena.
The multi award-winning Eddie Kadi is fast becoming a household name within the British comedy scene. His unique brand of clean energetic comedy is insanely infectious and, with his quick wit and unpredictability, he is undisputedly a natural entertainer.
ROUGE – PRETORIA
Hailing from Pretoria, Rouge has Congolese roots. She’s one of the fastest-rising rappers in South Africa, having managed to build a buzz off a few singles.
She’s collaborated with Reason, BigStar Johnson, Moozlie, among others. She’s rapped over beats by some of the most respected producers in South Africa––Tweezy, Ganja Beatz and more.
Rouge was handpicked by AKA to be among the top women in South African rap on his “Baddest” remix. Rouge is one lyricist to watch––she can rap spheres around your favourite and with the release of her debut album New Era Sessions, she’s set to continue going from strength to strength.