Congolese-Canadian musician & songwriter Pierre Kwenders wins 2022 Polaris Music Prize
The 2022 edition of the Polaris Music Prize, an organization that "annually honours and rewards artists who produce Canadian music albums of distinction", has declared Pierre Kwenders’ latest album ‘José Louis and the Paradox of Love’ to be Canada’s album of the year.
Pierre Kwenders, the stage name of José Louis Modabi, is a Congolese-Canadian musician famous for his boundary-transcending and culturally rich music. Singing and rapping in English, French, Lingala (the language spoken in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Tshiluba (the national language of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and combining African music with influences such as hip hop and electronic music, Kwenders takes the audience on an intimate, empowering and unparalleled journey.
Kwenders' album ‘José Louis and the Paradox of Love’ that won him the 2022 Polaris Music Prize is further proof of the artist's undeniable talent, blending Congolese rumba, contemporary electronic music, pop-R&B and jazz-infused progressions in a fascinating mix. Watch the video for 'Papa Wemba' from the album:
Pierre Kwenders performs live at Le Guess Who? on Saturday 12 November 2022 as part of the ‘Moonshine presents SMS for Location’ project. Also performing at the festival are San Faranina, DJ P2N, Otim Alpha, Judgitzu, DJ Diaki, and many more.
Photography by Daniele Fummo