Moonga Kapambwe, popularly known as MOONGA K., is a Zambian-born and Botswana-raised singer, songwriter, and activist. Now based in South Africa, his musical journey resembles that of his own self-discovery. “I’d like to think my music creates safe spaces for marginalized groups of people,” Moonga says. “I like to be a voice for people that are afraid to speak out, but more so amplifying their voices.”
From a firm musical background, Moonga started singing at 6, performing at 9 and was prompted to write after hearing Frank Ocean’s ‘American Wedding’ at age 14. "It all stems from my childhood," he says. "I'm obsessed with sci-fi and the way that we can be whatever want to be in different worlds and universes, so that inspires my big, experimental ideas".
With further influences including Prince, Laura Mvula, D’Angelo, Ntozake Shange and Janelle Monáe, Moonga wraps his diverse palette into a sound that incorporates R&B, funk, soul, hip hop, rock, and electronic styles.
What captures audiences' ears are Moonga's poignant lyricism, emotive melodies, textured interiority, and authentic social activism. “I think I've always been a vocal person – a fighter and rebel," Moonga shares. "I definitely dive into socio-political issues”. These elements are all present on his brand-new Greg Abrahams-helmed EP titled CANDID, where Moonga explores themes such as toxic masculinity, racial injustice, identity, and mental well-being. “CANDID is an amalgamation of all the work I've put out and the artist I've become – detailing my experiences being a young black person in this world.”
With a sound as fluid as his identity, Moonga aims to provide the soundtrack to our collective journeys of self-acceptance – while tapping more into afrofuturist tones. “It's about being somewhat creatively in the future,” he says. “Not being held back by the idea of being monolithic, sharing identities and standing in your own light.”