Meet Reinel Bakole, a beautiful voice new to our scene.

One of the purest, most beautiful and unique voices new to our scene, that’s how Reinel Bakole is aptly described. For the second year in a row she released an EP and after her initial solo outing she now collaborated with beat maker Louis Shungu, C12 resident DJ and producer Chris Ferreira and bassist, dj and producer Sam Van Binsbergen. Dubbed The Solar 3, they are Bakole’s band and together they framed ‘Closer To Truth’, her latest EP. The result is a stunning piece of art, showcasing influences from jazz, soul and electronic music in six tracks, all led by the captivating and cosmic spirit of Bakole and presented as a visual EP including a 13-minutes long dance video directed by the Rotterdam based visual artist Tarona. 

I sat together with Reinel Bakole a few days before her release concert at the rooftop of the museum for contemporary art Bozar in Brussels.  

How do you shape your teams and the people you work with?

I mostly surround myself with my people from my community and if possible black women.  Working with Afro-descendant creatives is just safer, we understand each other better, and nurture this sense of togetherness while celebrating our own unique magic. To me it makes sense to create spaces for women or people of colour in the art industry, I want to show that these people are skilled and talented as well. When I tried to find a black video director for my latest video, it took me ages, although I knew they were out there. I believe it’s a matter of unhiding people by giving them opportunities. I gave up the idea to ask for spaces, since I already have my space, I just need to own it. This idea of owning spaces is something we, as POC, are not used to, it needs to become more institutionalised. I want to help others to own their own powers and make a statement. We are all entitled to do so. 

The Solar 3 is your band for the latest EP, how did they get involved? 

It was always my dream to play live with a band. After my solo concert at Ancienne Belgique in September 2020, I was approached by Alexander Cornelis, an A&R for a major record company, who was very supportive and started sending me names of musicians. That’s how I met Louis Shungu, who immediately introduced me to Chris Ferreira. The two of them were already working together on their project as a duo, so first they invited me for a spoken word vocal on one of their tracks, which will be released soon. The more I saw and heard them work in the studio, the more I felt inspired so I tried my luck and asked them to produce my next EP. They proposed to invite bassist Sam Van Binsbergen and not much later we spent a couple of days in a tiny house in the countryside near Namur where we created the whole EP. In the studio we finally invited saxophone player Pierre Spataro from Commander Spoon and that’s how it went down. 

Can you explain to me a bit what the topics of your lyrics are on your latest EP?

They are based on research around the complexity of human beings and our brains. For a long time already I have been interested in the conscious, preconscious and unconscious and their various dimensions and realities, next to dreams, beliefs, religions, etcetera. Now that I’m growing up, I feel I’m finding more connection to my roots, thanks to travelling to Congo and discovering the tribes and beliefs of where my father comes from, the Bashi tribe in Bukavu in south Kivu. For instance, the Bashi believe that at night, people who sleep leave their bodies and go for journeys to encounter each other's souls and to return to their bodies at dawn. 

What has the future installed for you?

I’m a nomad just like my father haha, so I don’t think I’ll stay in Belgium. Prior to the pandemic I lived in London, but I came back to my family in Belgium to avoid a lonely lockdown in the British capital. Now I feel like returning to London in 2022, but I’ll first spend some time in Congo again. And I’ll keep on investing my time and energy into new projects, I have got many things coming up already. 

© 2024 Listen FestivalPrivacy policyWebsite by Matthias Deckx © 2024 Listen FestivalPrivacy policyWebsite by Matthias Deckx © 2024 Listen FestivalPrivacy policyWebsite by Matthias Deckx © 2024 Listen FestivalPrivacy policyWebsite by Matthias Deckx © 2024 Listen FestivalPrivacy policyWebsite by Matthias Deckx © 2024 Listen FestivalPrivacy policyWebsite by Matthias Deckx