She is pretty, talented, energetic and ambitious and has an angelic voice. Not afraid to try new things and try her luck in an unfamiliar ground where many took their chances but failed.
She is Niasony Okomo, Congo Brazzaville-born rising star based in Germany. Her single Ponanini (Why?) has conquered Germany and Europe, and continues to generate a heated debate in show-biz circles about its sophisticated rhythms.
But reviewers said these sweetly strange melodies are none other than a part of world music deeply rooted in traditional European origins painted on the outside with African street music.
Some call it Afro-plastic – a kind of music never heard of anywhere in the world. Some commentators however say it is a mix of urban sounds, which includes Afro-beat, funky, folklore, soukous and reggae.
Okomo, who has been living in Germany since the age of 14, is an enigmatic musician who brought enigmatic sounds in an enigmatic environment, where musicians of colour never really felt like a fish in the water.
That is why Ponanini came out top in the Frankfurt Music Fair in 2012. And this enigma would not have been talked about without her collaboration with German musicologist Maoba.
Her voice reminds one of DR Congo’s late female star Abeti Masikini, one of the most talented singers Africa has ever seen. Her energy could also be likened to that of South Africa’s late singer Brenda Fassie.
Put it that way, one could say that Okomo is a ‘one-in-all’ musician with all aspects of talents engraved in her body and soul.
Love her or hate her, Okomo, who grew up in the impoverished township of Ouenzé in Brazzaville, has already registered her name in the rubicon of world music, meaning she is here to stay.
Listening to Ponanini and her new single Nasina makes one wonder if she could one day team up with legendary maestros of world music such as Papa Wemba and Lokua Kanza.
Time will tell!
Photo: Congo-Brazzaville rising star Niasony Okomo. Credit: Niasony.com