NPR Tiny Desk Concert- 2/10/21
This week, I am so excited to share something a little different from what I normally do! While researching news about music and refugees, I stumbled across an article about an NPR tiny desk concert that took place about two weeks ago. If you are unfamiliar with Tiny Desk Concerts, they are live, acoustic performances hosted by NPR that feature artists from across the world.
At the center of this "concert" is Congolese-Belgian singer Marie-Pierra Kakoma, known professionally as Lous and The Yakuza. She grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo but was forced to flee her home at age 4 because her mom was Rwandan and therefore a target during the Second Congo War. Kakoma and her family ended up in Berlin, where she started writing songs just three years later, at age 7. Her songs are a mix of RnB, trap, and pop, but they are also largely influenced Congolese rhythms and life. In fact, Kakoma's breakout song "Dilemme" is about her life growing up in the Congo, and later Rwanda, when she moved back as a teenager. In NPR's article about Kakoma, they feature these lyrics from the song: "Living haunts me, everything that surrounds me made me mean."
Kakoma's performance on NPR's Tiny Desk was wonderful, and an important reminder that refugees contribute greatly to our communities in a variety of different ways. For Kakoma, it is through her stunning music and storytelling that can unite people across the world through themes of conflict, love, and freedom.
Be sure to check out the tiny desk concert here: https://www.npr.org/2021/01/27/960903886/lous-and-the-yakuza-tiny-desk-home-concert and support Lous and the Yakuza!