Afro-indie with electronics from Congo via Canada
“Kwenders draws from Congolese rumba, contemporary electronic pop, 1980s retro, smooth jazz, and ’70s funk…a cornucopia of sound filled with goodies from a wide breadth of eras and cultures” – Pitchfork
“Montreal-based musician steeps the electronic vibes of his current Canadian surroundings in Congolese rumba rhythms to achieve a vivacious musical style. 8/10”- Exclaim!
Afro-indie singer/dj born in Kinshasa, Kwenders draws on his wide-ranging experience to make personal music with multiple points of entry, rather than paring it down to fit recognizable genres.
His upcoming record MAKANDA (sep 9th 2017) was produced entirely by Tendai Mariare (1/2 of Shabazz Palaces, Sub Pop records) in Seattle. Makanda finds Kwenders pivoting from Bantou’s housey thump to something a little more rap-centric. During last album cycle Kwenders performed over 25 shows in Europe including Trans Musical de Rennes, Felabration, Womex 15, Printemps de Bourges, Cartier Fondation and more.
Kwenders 2014 full-length Le Dernier Empereur Bantou established him as a torchbearer for a new wave of African artists. It was long-listed for the 2015 Polaris Prize, nominated for the 2015 Juno World Music Album of the year, and was nominated at the 2015 ADISQ for World Music Album of the Year.
“Pierre Kwenders released a whimsical album that he’s paired with a live show that’s magnificent and visually stunning” Noisey
Nominated for a Juno in the World Music category in 2014, he has also recently been accredited with the honour of being named a Nominee for the Polaris. Scoring a multitude of performances in 2014 and 2015, his enthusiasm has resonated and extended past Canadian borders, reaching much acclaim and esteem in Europe, where he was featured at the Rennes Tranmusicales, WOMEX and The Great Escape 2017.