Lous and The Yakuza released a debut album titled “Gore”. © Laura Marie Cieplik
The singer of Congolese origin Lous and the Yakuza releases Gore a first album engaged, intoxicating and very autobiographical.
When we call Lous and Yakuza, the 24-year-old is on a short break from the set of a “small desk”, a short-format concert, for the American national radio NPR. She records pieces from her disc in an acoustic version, she tells us in a voice full of joy that contrasts with Gore’s seriousness, for whom she wrote all the lyrics and almost all the music.
The title of the disc is a reference to this subgenre of horror biography, where, Lous explains, “things are so dark and violent that they become absurd and funny. It’s like my life, I lived dark things and I decided to laugh about it.” .
Lous (born Marie-Pierra Kakoma, of a Rwandan mother and a Congolese father in Lubumbashi in 1996) is disturbingly lively. His desire to sing comes to him from God according to this young mysterious woman. Moreover, his pseudonym “Lous” is the anagram of “soul” (the soul in the English editor’s note); as for “Yakuza”, she calls her collaborators. The young woman who meditates every morning speaks lightly of her faith and defines herself as “a tool in the service of music.” But not only.
She loves literature (especially classical) and dedicates her life to dance, painting, design and drawing. Up to her forehead, whereupon she pulls a little man every day, raising his arms to the sky.
A rough diamond, Lous? Maybe. But not a black diamond. “My skin is not black, it’s ebony,” she exclaims in Dilemma, the eerie melody hit that made her famous and opens Gore.
Skin color returns in Solo, where she asks, “why is black not the color of the rainbow?” She also accuses, with some fatalism, the command, according to her, to always defend oneself when one is black and / or oppressed: “No matter what we say, we will remain solo / No matter what we do, we remain solo” .
When we ask Lous who she is talking about, when she writes there: “From birth we have been promised mountains and wonders on condition that we close it”, the answer is blown up. “This is our world and ‘White suprematy’. To make music, I went through difficulties that a white person would not know. Moreover, as a mixed race, half Rwandan, half Congolese, I suffered discrimination, also in Africa, which is not makes any sense ”.
Between pop and rap, Gore is a committed record. Lous tackles racism as well as oppression of women through prostitution (draft), violence and sexual assault (the disturbing and throbbing four hours of morning with false melodies of rhyme in which she supports the voice of the victim and a sinner). She also portrays a friendly betrayal (low masses), tells of a painful breakdown (good actor) and depression and loneliness (phone rings).
The heart of the Congo
In Solo, the vandalism of colonization and the temptation of revenge approach, which according to Lous must be resisted. She also mentions Congo’s independence “6-0 years of independence”. This history buff – we feel she could talk about it for hours – tells us that she also studied the wars of the Great Lakes, which she would like to publish.
Because Lous is very attached to Congo. His youth took place between this country, his mother’s Rwanda and Belgium, where his family was in political exile. She has kept diaries since she was seven years old.
Teenager, Lous, the third of four siblings, will sing. Her parents are against what she accepts her choice, live on the streets, live out traumatic episodes including two assaults. A past that is expressed in the song Dans la hesse. Today, she and her parents are reconciled. Life smiles at him.
“I went through very dark phases and then knew the light,” she told me. She puts her sorrows in perspective: “life is not a long quiet river”. Lous is already writing his second album, including a song about child soldiers.
She talks to us about admiring her father, an activist politician in Congo. “The Congolese people must stand up. We are all vectors of peace, regardless of our activity.” She claims she has never felt Belgian. Congolese then? “Oh yes!” answers Lous, who seems promised the greatest successes.
Lous and The YakuzaGore (Columbia) 2020Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube