Montreal's Moonshine Collective recently celebrated five years of progressive raves. A bright light of the Canadian nightlife, Moonshine also doubles as a label, releasing bangers from across the African diaspora. Today the Collective premieres "Gbadolite" by Moonshine co-founder Pierre Kwenders and Brooklyn-based DJ Uproot Andy. Named for the city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, "Gbadolite" is a vibrant and joyful cut of Congolese rumba — singing in Lingala, Kwenders pays a sensual tribute to his Moonshine cohort Bonbon Kojak (translated into English, he sings: "Bonbon Kojak, such a handsome man / Handsome handsome handsome / Ask him if you can sit on it.") "Gbadolite" is a celebration of all things big — hearts, parties, vibes, whatever — which is good, because you'll definitely be back for multiple servings.
Over email, Uproot Andy sent his thoughts on the song:
"'Gbadolite' was inspired by our love of Congolese rumba and soukous. We wrote the song at my apartment in New York right after I had come back from carnival in Barranquilla, Colombia, where soukous is cranked out of speakers on street corners at all hours. So we were having conversations about that era and Pierre’s relationship to that music from growing up in Kinshasa as we wrote the song. So, 'Gbadolite' is about the way the past always lives on in today’s music and [how] it really has one foot in each time period, beginning in the present, deep and intimate, and then traveling back into the past in search of this certain feeling of joy and celebration."
Here's Pierre Kwenders, also via email:
"This is a tribute to Gbadolite. A city full of potential and growth during Mobutu’s reign, but lost everything and had become a bit of a ghost town since Mobutu’s departure. I also wanted to showcase Moonshine’s Prince Premier Bonbon Kojak whose charm and swagger can’t seem to give no one a break. Everybody wants a piece of me, so come and get it."
"It was such an honor to premiere the song at NYFW with Studio189. The love was real and being able to perform on that platform for such a great brand was truly magical. I felt proud to be African and to have created this connection between us all. Shout out to Abrima Erwiah and Rosario Dawson for their love and support."
"Gbadolite" will appear on SMS For Location Vol. 3, the upcoming mixtape from Moonshine Collective. It's out December 13.