“An album that feels good”

September 12, 2021 by archyde

INTERVIEW LUBIANA. The Belgian-Cameroonian singer Lubiana is releasing her first album, “Beloved” this Friday, September 10.


“Beloved”, Beloved, Lubiana. Three translations that suit him so well. The young Belgian-Cameroonian singer Lubiana publishes this Friday, September 10, her first album, rightly baptized therefore, Beloved. Thirteen songs for an ode to love in the broad sense: love of self and love of others, all carried by the singles Mamy Nianga and Self Love. “With this album, I wanted a return to love (…) basically, we are all looking for the same thing: to be loved and to love each other. That’s what I wanted to evoke with Beloved. It is an album which gives confidence, which feels good, which soothes, which encourages people to listen to themselves, to follow their dreams, to be a little more in inner peace and in harmony “, confides to us the 27-year-old artist, who enchants with his voice and his kora notes, this African harp traditionally played by men, the griots.

Lubiana is one of the few women to play the kora. And certainly the only one to integrate it into the pop sounds that make the album Beloved. “The kora, she chose me. She first came in a dream, I did not know this instrument and I saw myself playing it. It obsessed me”, remembers the singer, born in Brussels of a Belgian mother and a Cameroonian father. With her kora, Lubiana sets her crossbreeding to music and mixes the magical sounds of her instrument with the pop and electro notes of Western music. We dance on Truth Where Feelling Low, we escape on Diarabi, as we dream about the powerful and aptly named song Self Love.

“An album that feels good”

After having seen her instrument in a dream, then having discovered it in Mallorca, Lubiana begins to play it and obtains the blessings of the greatest kora players, such as Toumani Diabaté or Ablaye Cissoko. “My intention is not to steal or steal anything and I know the kora chose me, that’s what they told me. Ablaye Cissoko told me that the kora had the sound of my soul, so I had to keep my goodness “, underlines the young woman, spotted at 17 years old in The Voice Belgium.

For this first album, it took ten years for Lubiana, who had released an EP in full confinement in 2020. “I really started to get into music around the same time, in September 2011. What? it comes out now, it’s a kind of sign. Ten years is huge, it’s more than a third of my life, ten years of following my dream and not letting go, of finding myself, of learning to m ‘to love, to reconnect with myself, with my crossbreeding… I am very proud of this album, ”summarizes the singer.

Second single from the album after Self Love, the piece Mamy Nianga Lubiana confirms in the eyes of the general public. Its title, a Cameroonian formula which designates someone pretty, “it’s a bit like the French version of ‘sapé as ever’”, laughs the singer, nicknamed as a teenager by her father. “I couldn’t go out without straightening my hair, I wanted to look like what I saw around me. In Cameroon, they always call me ‘the white’ and in Belgium it was more like ‘Tahiti Bob’. from The Simpsons). When I was young, it always made me feel like a fairground thing. “

Learn to love yourself. This is one of the lessons of the album Beloved and this single. “Mamy Nianga, it is an ode to authenticity (…) which speaks of loving each other without artifice. We can like the undermining, but our value it really depends on who we are “, comments Lubiana. On the clip side, the singer’s interbreeding always stands out, between the paintings of the Belgian Magritte and the” ndop, which is the fabric of the tribe Bamiléké “, where she is from.

Born on December 12, 1993 to a Belgian mother and a Cameroonian father, Lubiana Kepaou grew up bathed in music. “I always knew that I wanted to make music and art. At the beginning, it was mainly in relation to the eyes of people (…) for a long time I made music for that, to be loved , to have an identity, a place. I studied at the conservatory, just after school, that’s where I think I really started, at 17, “explains the artist, who participated this year there, to the Belgian version of the musical telecrochet The Voice in 2017. The interbreeding and ambivalence, Lubiana assumes: “In Africa we have an anchoring in the Earth, with our ancestors, with the ground. In Europe, we have rather an elevation towards melodies, it is really that is the contrast of Mamy Nianga : the North, the South; Africa, Europe, but also day and night which are two sides of my personality. “

So to “meet”, the singer goes alone to the United States. After having skimmed the open mics (open scenes) of Los Angeles, she meets the producer Frank Ocean, but will leave this “bad relationship” and the too strong feeling of being indebted to him. “I wanted my sound, not something that was already being done. I was the one who could find my sound, no one else. Even the biggest producers couldn’t know what I wanted to do if I didn’t know it. “, remembers Lubiana, who will be, on her return to Europe, spotted and signed by Pascal Nègre’s label, 6 & 7.

“It was really important for me to create my universe. I dream that one day we can say ‘it sounds Lubiana’. Create a leg, confides the artist. I think that’s what I managed to do. to do in this album, there is a real singular artistic proposal and that is why I am very proud of it. “

Resolutely optimistic, Lubiana decided to see the glass half full. It doesn’t matter what one says about it. “Since I was little, I have never believed those who told me that human beings are bad, that the world is horrible and that nothing is right. Yes, there are atrocities, but today we put so much emphasis on ’emphasis on these things that we forget all the beautiful things that happen. I have faith in life, in humanity and I love human beings. And I don’t want to change this vision. Beauty is everywhere, you have to see it, “advocates the singer, who wonders when this vision” has become has-been. “


“An album that feels good”

Then Beloved stands out as “an album that is both deep and solar, with a double facet, but always the same quest: love.” And to sum up: “It is an ode to love in the broad sense. Love is the most important thing in the world and the very purpose of life, no matter what we do, if it there’s no love, that doesn’t make sense. ” All is said.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my