On March 3rd, Pierre Kwenders realized a dream by stepping onto the stage of the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. The legendary venue has launched the careers of icons such as Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Diana Ross and many more. That magic moment was captured on video in the mini documentary Live at the Apollo directed by Trevor Banks who followed the artist through the streets of Manhattan and Harlem the day of the concert.
Premiered last week via TIDAL, watch the full-length Live at the Apollo mini documentary now via YouTube.
I normally keep my cool, but everything was on the surface that night, Kwenders explains. I was nervous as hell, excited like a little kid, and fighting tears at times. I felt connected to everything. First, it was Michael (Jackson), he came down to me during the soundcheck. Then, it was James Brown, and he never left: I was performing on that stage and my mind was thinking of his wildness. It was just an honour. From Kinshasa to Apollo. From there to wherever the fuck we wanna make it to.
Pierre Kwenders won the Rap/R&B Artist of the Year award at this year's Independant Music Awards during the Canadian Music Week earlier this month. His critically-acclaimed sophomore album MAKANDA at the End of Space, the Beginning of Time was released on September 8th, 2017.
MAKANDA carries the heritage of a modern Africa in which Congolese Rumba is at the forefront. The album, recorded in Seattle, was produced by Tendai Baba Maraire, one-half of the Seattle-based hip hop duo Shabazz Palaces (Sub pop records). Pierre Kwenders’ musical depth is present throughout the 11 tracks, which interweave new wave world music, rumba trap and indie afro. He sings and raps in four languages (Lingala, French, English, Shona), allowing him aesthetic and lyrical options most artists do not have. These four languages are the album’s cornerstones.
Pierre Kwenders will have a busy summer performing in Montreal, in the rest of Canada, in the USA and Europe. Don’t miss his DJ set at Les Jardins Gamelin on June 8th and at the Mile Ex End Festival in Montreal on September 2nd.
25/05 Montreal, QC // C2 Montreal (DJ set)
02/06 Toronto, ON // Field Trip Festival
03/06 Seattle, US // Upstream Music Festival
08/06 Montreal, QC // Jardins Gamelins (DJ set)
20/06 Montreal, QC // Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (DJ set)
23/06 Cleveland, US // Solstice - Cleveland Museum of Art
28/06 Montreal, QC // Jarry Park
08/07 Bruxelles, BE // Festival Let It Beach
12/07 Saint-Aubin-Sur-Mer, FR // Pete The Monkey Festival
13/07 Paris, FR // TBA
14/07 Berlin, DE // Father Graham
20/07 Lisbonne, PT // Super Bock Super Rock
08/08 Montreal, QC // Kent Park
10-12/08 Regina, SK // Regina Folk Festival
02/09 Montreal, QC // Mile Ex End Musique Festival (DJ set)
12/10 St-Jérôme, QC // Salle Antony-Lessard