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Artist Talks: Matongo

24. marts 2024

We proudly unveil Artist Talks. Artist Talks aims to delve into the minds and stories of creative souls who shape our world. Join us as we explore the vibrant tapestry of inspiration that surrounds us, guided by the voices and visions of those who dare to dream, create, and inspire.
28-year-old artist Emmanuel Matongo was born in Congo, grew up in Paris, and spent his teenage years in Brønderslev and Aarhus. With a diverse background of experiences and cultural influences, he has crafted his own unique voice - a voice that first found expression through poetry during his elementary school years and later evolved into songs during high school. Previously, he was one half of the award-winning duo 'Føl Som', but last year he made his solo debut as Matongo with the single 'Baby'.
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What are the three songs you listen to the most at the moment?

Kanye West ft. Ty dolla $ign - Back to me, Luidji - Télefoot & 4batz - Act ii date

Do you have any rituals you always do before performing?

I suffer from stage fright. To calm myself, I usually take a step back, put on my airpods, take some deep breaths, walk back and forth almost meditatively, and practice the songs by myself. Additionally, I always have three crystals with me to bring peace and good luck.

Do you have a specific purpose with the music you create?

I do it mostly for myself - if others like it and feel that it resonates with them, then it's just a bonus. I try to prove to myself that I can really do this. I want to add more diversity to Danish music and create something more unique and different from what is already found in the Danish music scene.

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Which artist inspires you the most?

KANYE WEST, without a doubt. I am really inspired by his approach to music and his sound universe. Kanye is a really eccentric character who has managed to stay relevant for many years, for better or worse, and across different genres. I don't identify with many of his ideologies and beliefs, but I really respect that he always stands strong and believes in himself.

What can we expect from you in 2024? Concerts, albums, etc.

I am currently working on an album that I am really excited to release and bring to life. It is, in my opinion, a necessary extension of my first album. In addition, 2024 will bring visual artworks. Right now, I am working on creating a kind of art film for a political song I have made. It is a project that is very dear to me, and I am excited to show it. And otherwise, just more music, more creativity, more drama. More Matongo.

"I want to add more diversity to Danish music and create something more unique and different from what is already found in the Danish music scene."
What have been the biggest highlights in your career so far?

Without a doubt, it must be releasing my debut album and headlining for a huge euphoric crowd at Vega, Ideal bar.

What have been the biggest challenges?

The music industry can be tough. Talent is one thing, but luck and timing also play a big role. Art is only art when it creates conversations or debates, and it is important to be able to ignore the negative comments - or use them constructively if necessary.

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Do you have any advice for young emerging artists?

My best advice is to be curious - play with the music. When I had just started creating music, I sent my music to different established artists that I admired to get their feedback. One piece of advice stands out, given by Danni Toma, who said, "As long as you love what you do, everyone else's opinions are completely irrelevant." It is undoubtedly the most valuable advice I have received in my music career - and a mantra I still try to practice. Of course, it could also be that he didn't feel like giving feedback - who knows, haha, but I'll take it anyways.

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