“Remarkable Voice with an Amazing Look” “A True Talent”
These are some of the things that others in the industry are saying about Zambian born, London raised singer / songwriter Katongo. With musical influences such as Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie, Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey, it’s no wonder this very talented young lady, effortlessly blends Afropop and R&B in her own musical compositions.
With fan favourites such as “Tonight”, “So Good” and “Something Bout the Way” it’s understandable why this up and coming artist has been nominated for the UK Zambians Singer/Songwriter of the year award and why she continues to garner online media attention and African radio airplay. With her recent invitation to be a guest performer on Sky TV 182’s ‘Sporah Show’, we see no evidence of Katongo’s popularity slowing down.
Kapa187: What made you decide to take up music seriously?
Katongo: I always wanted to sing, but I didn’t know how I could break into the industry. When I got to university I met several other musicians/songwriters. I started doing session work for producers, which developed into me recording my own material and gaining recognition from music managers/agents and independent music labels. I then realised I could take music on as a career and not just a hobby.
Kapa187: Describe your style in 3 words
Katongo: Afropop meets R&B
Kapa187: Your EP “My way” was well received, I especially liked the song “Something bout the Way” For those who have not heard the EP yet, tell us about it and where can they get a copy.
Katongo: Thank you I am glad you like it. Well my EP is a reflection of my life at the time that I wrote it. It centre’s around my experiences as a young woman. It is a contemporary fusion of pop, Afrobeat and R&B. Over its 6 track duration I take the listener on a journey starting with fast paced tracks like ‘So good,’ and the slowing it down with tracks like Cactus Agony featured ‘Something bout the way’.
The EP is available on ITunes, Amazon, Rhapsody and many more and it can be downloaded from my website www.KatongoMusic.com
Kapa187: Songs like “move your body” ,”so good” and “Tonight” have a nice dance ,fist-pumping, club feel to them. What inspires your music?
Katongo: I am inspired by so many things. But mainly I aim to write honestly so whatever i am experiencing in my life I try to convey in my music. When I was writing my EP I was heavily inspired by dance music and afrobeats whilst emotionally, I was inspired by love. So when you listen to the EP a lot of that comes across.
Kapa187: Your video for “Tonight” has over 20 000 views on YouTube which is a great achievement. How was the experience of making the video, what was the concept behind it.
Katongo: I still can’t believe that so many people were/are interested in watching my video. I am so grateful for the love. The concept was quite simple; we wanted something that literally depicted the lyrics of the song. So at one point you see me reminiscing the love I had with my ex boyfriend, and at another you see me moving on, happy and enjoying life with my friends.
Kapa187: Will you be releasing a full length album in the near future?
Katongo: Yes, without a shadow of doubt. I am already in the studio working on new material and I am very excited to release it soon.
Kapa187: What do you think about the current state of Zambian music, Which Zambian artists would you like to work with in the future?
Katongo: I am a huge fan of Zambian Music, and I am very proud of the fact that Zambian musicians are successfully competing with major label Nigerian, Kenyan and South African artists. The music production quality in Zambia is great.
With regards to who my favourites are, well, I am a huge fan of Cactus Agony, not only because he features on my EP but because he has such an amazing voice! And I am also a big fan of JK and Exile.
Kapa187: Do you have any plans of touring in Zambia?
Katongo: I would love to tour Zambia, and Africa as a whole one day soon. I’m sure that i will do so in the near future.
Kapa187: Apart from music you also do charity work .Tell us about your work with “Africans United Against Child Abuse” (AFRUCA).
Katongo: I have been a supporter of the charity for over 2 years. I am in awe of the difference they make in children’s lives in the UK and in Africa. I have always wanted to be a part of organisations that protect children and when i heard about them i was quick to support their work. Once I affiliated with the charity I was granted the opportunity to speak at the Houses of parliament and I have been keen to get involved in more ever since. One day I hope to have my own children’s charity.
Kapa187: What has been the best moment in your music career?
Katongo: There have been several amazing moments and i have met some amazing people thus far in my career. I really can’t choose one moment. But to be honest with you, it hasn’t been meeting famous people, working with famous people or doing video shoots and photo shoots that have made me happiest, it has been the time spent in the studio creating and then presenting my music to the world. So I guess the best moment for me was working on my EP and completing it over a 10 week period.
Kapa187: Is there anything your fans will be surprised to know about you?
Katongo: This is a hard question, well I think people would be surprised to know that I have a Bachelor of Science degree in International relations and that I was the only female and lead vocalist of a band called Dynasty, we considered ourselves the younger ‘black eyed peas’.
Kapa187: Any last words for your fans
Katongo: Thank you for your love and support; I am humbled by your messages and words of encouragement.
Stay connected and follows me on;
twitter : http://www.twitter.com/katongomusic
Something bout the way ft Cactus Agony