Angolan musician Coréon Dú is a multi-media artist, known for generating ground breaking pop culture phenomena. He also recently launched his album, Binário, in South Africa. Produced by Grammy Award-winning producer and film-maker Andres Levin, it is a medley of beats in Portuguese, Spanish, and English, creating laid-back melodies typical of Dú’s distinctive sounds which fuse African beats with those of the Caribbean.
The album’s two singles Amor Robotico and Bilando Kizomba made it to the top 30 on the American Billboard tropical chart.
Dú, who was raised in the US, is also being feted for his work as a creative director, writer and producer for his own telenovela titled Windeck, and his fashion line WeDú by Coréon Dú.
I speak to him about his music and influences:
What was the inspiration behind your album Binario? I always like to involve my nerdy sensibility in my albums. I wanted to keep within the sci-fi inspiration I had for my musical projects but take it somewhat further.
The reason why I chose Binário as a title, or “binary” in English, is because the word itself refers to something made of two elements. My album is a fusion of the organic and the technological.
The organic being the sounds from more traditional African music and tin sounds from genres such as Semba, Kizomba, Cumbia, Bachata, and the technological being from more urban and electronic genres such as dance, hip hop and raggaeton.
How did you get started in music? It actually started with a dream when I was about 15, and that was the point where I decided that I wanted to pursue music professionally. However, that dream was interrupted and I was only able to start pursuing music professionally almost 10 years later. I released my first album, The Coréon Experiment in 2010.
Ever since, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my work with a growing number of fans in Angola and beyond, and released a remix project called The WeDú Experiment in 2013 and my album Binário in 2014.
What inspires your music? I’m quite a romantic and introspective, so my greatest inspiration comes from my own experiences and from things I observe. The sounds in my music are very diverse, I’m usually seeking to create a fusion between Angolan and African sounds with what I enjoy most about other genres from abroad from both the acoustic and electronic realm.
Describe your typical fan? That’s hard to describe. I consider anyone who appreciates and supports my work a #WeDúFriend or fan. I don’t target one particular kind of audience, because art is unpredictable.
What and who was your music inspiration as a child? Michael Jackson’s music, James Bond’s fashion sense, the style of Bollywood films, and the freshness of Kuduro music which was developing at the time.
How important is developing an online community or fan base? We are in an era where communication is seamless between human and the technological aspect. Both live and online communication are essential for any artist to connect with supporters.
Describe your music in four words? Fusion, romance, humour and journey.
One of your most memorable times onstage? The first time I started performing and the audience sang along and requesting songs from my album. I was used to being an opening act for bigger artists in shows and festivals. It was a wonderful moment
to see people connecting at that level to my work for the first time.
Tell us something about you most people don’t know? I’m actually a very shy person. Most people who see me doing any public speaking, performing or even some of my
occasionally bold outfits, don’t really believe this. However, I was very shy after my pre-teen years until university. I’m still quite reserved but music has actually helped me a lot to communicate with other people.
This feature was published in the Cape Argus on July 17 2015. All pictures are by CSA Global.