2023 GLOBAL MUSIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR | Pierre Kwenders | | The JUNO Awards

José Louis and the Paradox of Love is the Polaris Music Prize-winning 3rd studio album from Congolese-born, Montreal-based musician, songwriter, and DJ Pierre Kwenders. Motivated by the intricacies of love, his songs weave together narratives from memories of the past, sketches of his hometown, and reflections on the future. The album arrives at a new juncture – a moment of resonance, carefully wrapped in freewheeling tapestry, hinged in reverence to its diverse heritage, yet reveling in the inventive combination of its elements. Seamlessly working across Congolese rumba, contemporary electronic music, pop-R&B, and jazz-infused progressions with a range of global collaborators including Tendai Maraire, Branko, Michael Brun, and Uproot Andy, the new album is both an embrace of African musical tradition and an evolution of it. Singing and rapping in Lingala, French, English, Tshiluba, and Kikongo, Kwenders similarly weaves his stories across the boundaries of language and geography. Written and recorded while traversing the globe with his Moonshine Collective, Kwenders has taken his Afro-electronic soirées from Los Angeles to Santiago to Paris and beyond, building a truly international grassroots community of fans and peers.