Gaz Mawete is one of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s brightest new music stars.
He’s a great dancer and more than capable of producing familiar Congolese dance numbers, but he’s also pushing the boundaries and dropping more Afrobeats-influenced love ballads.
His real name is Gael Kapia Mawete, but his family have called him Gaz from the age of five, and so it became his stage name.
His latest single is entitled Nani, which means Who? In it, a woman is crying because she doesn’t want this man to leave. She wants him to listen to what she’s got to say first.
“There are a lot of life experiences in what I sing. Music for me is like a jar. Every song I release is from a jar where I keep my feelings throughout my life.
“I’m also an actor now. At the moment we’re filming a series, and movies are coming next. Since I was a child I’ve always been a fan of cinema. Thanks to God, acting doesn’t stop me from making music – I’m able to do both without any issues.”
In 2016 Gaz was beaten at The Voice of Africa Francophone, but in 2017 he triumphed at another major talent contest – Vodacom Best of the Best All Stars – so his determination was finally rewarded.
“The audience embraced me. People loved me and they voted for me and gave me the opportunity to win.”
The top prize wasn’t just money, there was also an opportunity to be signed by the record label Bomayé Music.
“It was a double victory,” Gaz says.
He has collaborated with some of the biggest names in Congolese music including Dadju and his friend Fally Ipupa.
Gaz also revealed that he had no idea his big hit song Olingi Nini would become a viral sensation. But he thinks the key to its success, as with all his music, is the amount of emotion he puts into it.
Gaz Mawete’s new album will be released on March 4.