Souls most promising new comer: Jalen N’Gonda

Posted on 27 October 2016
By Kenny Baker
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Jalen N’Gonda teases his newly produced music video for his single, ‘Holler (when you call my name)’.

Jalen N’Gonda draws on richly complex personal and musical heritage. His family (in part of Zambian descent) herald from Washington DC, where N’Gonda was raised in small-town Maryland.

The son of a day care specialist and IT worker, vintage R&B filled the house, and eventually proved to be a porthole into another path altogether: N’Gonda found out about The Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts whilst casually watching TV, and applied with little knowledge of the UK besides a long-held desire to move far away. “Fish and Chips, Harry Potter, and The Queen: that’s all I saw in America,” he says now. It was enough, just about, to get him in.

In Liverpool, the realities of English life – and the stark contrast to a home where very little happens – quickly broadened Jalen’s horizons. The effect is already there for all to see in his music, the first taste of which premieres today: now equally influenced by classic 60s soul as British, indie storytelling, ‘Holler (When You Call My Name)’ blends a love of Jackie Wilson and Daptone Records with local-exposure to the likes of Last Shadow Puppets or The Kinks.

From Washington to Liverpool, and quickly booking shows (largely by word of mouth) across Europe – ‘Holler’ suggests Jalen N’Gonda may be modern soul’s most promising newcomer.

Jalen will be performing at Leaf Liverpool, as part of this year’s Liverpool Music Week’s lineup. Unfortunately, by no surprise, the show has already sold out. However, Jalen will be performing in numerous venues and locations which can be found on his socials below: