Luce and the Yakuza composed music from the darkness of their lives

London – When she was younger, Marie-Pierra Kakoma’s mother gave her an equation for success: when you’re black, you’ll have to work twice. When you are young, black and female, make that 10 times harder.

Composing music as Lous and Yakuza, Kakoma has accepted this message, and the journey to release Lous’s debut album, “Gore”, has taken more sacrifices than the previous month, even Her mother must have liked it too. Over the past several years, the 24-year-old has been transferred to Kakoma countries, dropped out of college and ended up in months of being homeless.

For Kakoma, whose life has been marked with prolonged unrest, there is no question that it was all worth it. “Music is an outlet, this is where we let go of our reality,” Kakoma said in a video interview from Paris. “We put our reality on paper and then it is there, it exists. For me it tells what is going on in my life. “

The genre-fluid artist sets out to perform sultry hip-hop tracks with hard track beats that are a declaration of his resilience and an exploration of Generation Z concerns including Race Z, loneliness and despair.

With words sung and sung in French, Luce and Yakuza feel like a uniquely global project with a background of Kagoma’s Belgian-Congolese-Rwandan politics past and present, manga comics, Mozart and Whitney Houston Including liberal influence.

He has a large following of fans from France and Belgium, but also has a following in South Africa and Germany, and has huge popularity in countries such as Italy, where his soul-driven track “Dilim” (“Dilemma”) was remixed is. To chart Top 20 In April.

“I like to describe my music as a constant search for the truth,” Kakoma said, sometimes flashing her distinctive collection Rings. “It brings confusion and this is what artists should do, we are upset here.”

Lis and Yakub attempted to distract and provoke in innumerable directions. In “Solo“She asks if she needs to cry to mention the independence of Congo in 1960 and questions” Why isn’t the rainbow color black? She sings “Yo, yo, yo,” to the ranting beating of “mace bass” when a person is victimized in Rwanda. For more videos “Tote east gore“(” All is gore, “) She sits on the steps with rivers dripping red all around her.

The album’s themes reflect the violence and gore Kakoma’s own life experiences.

Kakoma was born in 1996 in Lubombashi, Democratic Republic of Congo. Two years later, his mother was imprisoned as part of Ravanand Period of civil violence drawn by Congo, Often referred to as one of Bloody conflict since World War II. After spending months in prison, Kakoma’s mother was released and instructed to leave the country immediately. She fled to Belgium with her youngest child, but was forced to leave her three other children, including the Congo.

“I think that’s something that has shaped me so much,” said Kakoma, who joined her mother in Belgium two years later. By the age of 7, Kakoma had developed an artistic temperament, but the poems, books and songs he composed were plagued with sorrow, death and tragedy. The reason, she said, was a feeling of abandonment in the two years of separation from her mother.

As a child, his father – an activist and prominent physician in the Congo – was shuttling back and forth to Belgium. In 2005, Kakoma and her younger sister were sent to live in the massacre Rwanda with their grandmother.

“To me, we were living in a ghetto in Belgium,” Kakoma said, “but the ghetto was actually very privileged compared to the basic life in Africa at the time.” When she was 9, she traced the massacre of her grandmother and cousins.

“It was very clear and it hurt me,” he said. “Shaped me as a person who believed in me very strangely in hope. I have great hope in the future because I have gone beyond many things. “

Kakoma returned to Belgium at the age of 15 and studied first at an all-girls boarding school and then at Namur University, where she began teaching philosophy. She left after four months, to focus on singing, to her parents’ alarm.

At the age of 18, a succession of wrong decisions and encounters – fired from multiple jobs, hanging out with the wrong crowd and falling in with her roommate’s mother – left her homeless in Brussels for six months.

He said, “When I learned everything today, I came to know.” “At that time it was either crying, committing suicide or starting laughing and finding a way.”

Kakoma got back on her feet with the support of friends and released her first song “Full of You” in 2015 in English. For the next few years he uploaded music to Soundcloud and took gigs to Brussels until signing with Columbia Records in 2018.

Now, Kakoma channels expressed pain in her music: “I let happiness be the only thing I enjoy daily,” she said with a smile.

Lous is a reversal of “soul” and yakuza means a loser or a person out of the norm (it is also the name of Japan’s notorious crime organization). “I think it’s a testament to my flexibility,” she said of the moniker.

The album’s title, “Gore,” is a metaphor for Kakoma’s life, she said, and the darkness she has faced. To create this autobiographical composition, Kakoma enlisted Spanish producer El Gino, known for his production of Rosalia’s album.El mal query“In 2018. When El Gino received a folder of his management songs, he had never heard of Loose and Yakuza, but was immediately drawn to the songwriting skills and voice.

“He’s different in a way that he’s actually a natural, he has an incredible set of skills for making music,” El Guinicho said in an email. “While that’s great, sometimes it’s hard for an artist to work so hard to move forward.”

“I think she really understood by the end of the album making process, so now the sky’s the limit for her,” he said.

Today, Kakoma can count Mother of christ And producer and actress Issa Rae Among her fans. Last month he made an American TV debut, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “

Recently, Kakoma’s distinctive style – reflected in Symbols he draws on his face, his Childish swagger And seen her starring in fashion campaigns for Fantastic Elegance – Louis vuitton And Chloe And heading down the catwalk Paris Fashion Week.

“There’s a lot of inspiration behind that, I also learn a lot of things from different cultures that I didn’t really know,” said the stylist Elena Mottola, Who has worked with Kakoma for a year. “I think the fashion industry needs people like Lous.”

Kakoma is a fond student of the world who recognizes the importance of being one of only a few artists who are black, European and female on a major label, and the responsibility that comes with it.

“The problem is that I’m in an industry that thinks about the color of my vagina and my skin all the time,” Kakoma said. “If I don’t speak about it, how will young women feel?”

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