As a follow-up to his sophomore album, ‘Universe’, released in 2014, Congolese-Swedish singer Mohombi recently embarked on a musical journey to explore the afrobeats genre for his upcoming third studio album.
To actualise this goal, the singer made his way to the entertainment capital of Africa, Lagos, to leverage the state-of-the-art facilities of Ogidi Studios for a 10-day recording camp, recording over 20 songs.
With renewed energy and fresh inspiration, Mohombi blended his unique style with Afrobeats with the help of renowned producers like P. Prime, Andre Vibez, DJ Coublon, and BigFish. He also progressed to making the visuals of his first single, ‘Chocolat’, an upbeat afro-pop sound with soukous infusions, with video director TG Omori.
Citing the rise of Afrobeats to the global stage and the current successes recorded at the Grammy Awards by Afrobeats acts as his motivation, Mohombi praised the Nigerian entertainment industry on its continued strides to project its exports.
“Today, international pop music is directly linked or influenced by afrobeats. My background is more European, even, I would add Asia as a platform where I have some of my biggest clients,” he said.
“What’s cool about Afrobeats is it speaks for itself. It’s African beats, and I think we are at the very beginning of the amazing curve where officially, Africa gets to culturally have a huge impact on the world. This is a very good time to be African, to play with African influences.”
Famed for his 2010 club banger ‘Bumpy Ride’, the singer who has also worked with Pitbull and J Balvin (‘Vibras) — collaborations that earned him a Grammy and Latin Grammy for his creative input on the respective albums — revealed that he plans on producing album that will be a melting pot of genres, with Afrobeats as the base sound.
He credits this creative path to his penchant for research and wealth of experience as a singer and songwriter who has experimented with different music genres including rumba, reggae, and pop.
Terming the untitled project as a homecoming album, he further explained the direction behind it.
“The mindset we have is beyond Mohombi trying to record a new album. It goes so much beyond that because we have developing artistes on the project. It is about what makes sense for everybody.
“At this point, it is really just about me resetting musically. I am going to be more extreme, I feel like a newborn baby, and I feel like I’ve had so much to learn, and so much to give, and it feels good, just like a renaissance. An African renaissance,” he concluded.
With April 15, 2023, set for the release of the first single and visuals, Mohombi is optimistic about releasing the album this year.