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About Nkumu


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The Beginnings

Nkumu Isaac Katalay was born in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo where he spent one half of his life before moving to New York City in1996. Music became Isaac’s path to navigate the world. Music has become Isaac’s corner stone, which holds fragments of his identity together.

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Passion for Music

Music is Nkumu's passion. studying musical notes, especially their movements, patterns, and thier parallels to human cultures, remains his lifelong fascination. To Nkumu, musical notes are pieces of cultures residing within the realm of sound, and the ensemble of their interactions makes music.” Similar to notes, human cultures are fragments of historical formation, which gather under a specific civilization, and like notes, cultures are continuously seeking for alternative manifestations.

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Cultural Influences

The cultural and social dynamics that exist in New York City and Kinshasa helped his quest for translating his idea of sound and movements. Both places are very diverse and rich in culture. These two cities introduced Isaac to the world, and they also poured in him a deep appreciation of humanity. While he mainly represents Congolese music and culture, his style is a hybrid of various genres reflecting global culture.