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  • Cy White

Jupiter & Okwess: Na Kozonga

Good lord, my heart! Legendary Congolese band Jupiter & Okwess does with Na Kozonga what many only deign to do: create music that pulls the call of native pride to the surface. Unabashedly and without fear.

Pure energy from the very first note, the music hits you so hard and fast you can hardly breathe. But why breathe when you could dance for the culture? The music and its message is powerful. Full of so much energy. A need to fight, to sing, to dance. To be alive and free of chains and violence. Generational PTSD and curses. Na Kozonga is a celebration of life in the wake of the never-ending struggle to survive colonizer oppression.

Party music that goes so much deeper than the casual listener might realize. I hear the traditions of a people who've always been fighting. Pens and swords alike ready to strike at any given moment. This is music to be inspired by. To feel energized and ready to rise. Don't let the serene solemnity of the cover fool you. Every member of Okwess is a warrior, and this is their battle cry.

Gorgeous and triumphant, Na Kozonga brings up in me feelings of home, feelings of belonging and oneness. I have been here before. My spirit connects to this music on a very instinctual, ancestral level.

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