2024 GLOBAL MUSIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR | Kizaba | | The JUNO Awards

Lionel Kizaba, Montreal-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of Afro-Congolese electro music, has blazed a unique musical trail. With a fusion of French, English, Kikongo and Lingala, his compositions transcend linguistic barriers. In 2022, he embarked on his first U.S. tour, performing on the famous main stage of the historic New Orleans Jazz Festival alongside such iconic artists as Lionel Richie, Ceelo Green, Charlie Wilson and The Foo Fighters. His remarkable career has continued as he has captivated audiences at such high-profile events as the Festival International de Louisiane, Festival Africa Oyé in England, Mapas in Spain, Circulart in Medellin, Colombia, Womad Chile, Festival Nuits d’Afrique, Mundial Montréal, M Pour Montréal, Seoul Music Week Korea and Global Toronto.

Kizaba’s performances are enriched by the collaboration of talented musicians from Cuba, Haiti, Côte d’Ivoire and Quebec. Inspired by his Congolese upbringing, Kizaba’s shows feature a diverse musical style. He cleverly weaves ancestral vocalizations with the vibrant sounds of Congolese Soukous and Afrobeat, imbued with an Afro-Punk Rock philosophy. To offer a complete sensory experience, Kizaba’s stage productions incorporate fascinating visuals influenced by traditional Congolese and African masks, evoking a psychedelic atmosphere.