Twenty-four-year-old singer Pongo is a star in the making, judging by her two latest singles, Tambulaya and Kuzola. Donning a blonde buzz cut, Pongo’s striking features are matched by her high-pitched yet deep voice that pierces the gut.
Now living in Portugal, Pongo grew up in Luanda, Angola - a country she left with her family after fleeing the civil war in the late 1990s.
From her personal story comes one of her main sources of inspiration.
The artist, who sings in Portuguese, has developed a sort of neo-Kuduro that draws influences from the original genre but also Semba and Kizomba, that she mixes with EDM, pop and dancehall.
The result is a fusion of traditional and modern music that will make you dance your nostalgia away.
Tambulaya is inspired by how Pongo’s aunt and uncle fell in love in a club in Angola during wartime.
But if you’re familiar with the afro-luso music scene - or just a bit detail oriented, you might know Pongo from somewhere else. A few years ago, she met Portuguese band Buraka Som Sistema, with whom she recorded one of their major hits, Kalemba (Wegue Wegue).
It’s no surprise that Pongo decided to take the solo route after touring with the band. She is making music on her own terms, reaffirming her intent to take Kuduro from Angola (by way of Portugal) to the world.
Kuzola, released earlier this month, is another single that shows us just how determined she is to shake up our world. Get ready.