Interview: Blick Bassy chats about Africa meeting Australia with new single “MBONDI”

Blick Bassy is a master of world-building. One need only listen to songs like “Bengue” and “LoBa” to hear this African artist’s unquestionable talent at creating music that drips with feeling. Although his instrumentation is sparse and earthy, his vocals fill spaces with a soaring sense of soul.

Having such a gift for vocals and production places Blick Bassy as one to watch as his star continues to rise. And it no doubt will with the upcoming deluxe edition of his latest album, Madiba.

And there’s a surprising connection to Australia for the new project. A collaboration with local artist RY X, “MBONDI”, is taking off across online spaces right now. So we decided to catch up with Bassy for a quick Q&A about the new song and how it was built.

Note that Madiba will be released in May 2024, following a 15-stop North American tour.

You’re releasing this song as part of the new deluxe version of Madiba. What was the decision behind enhancing the album?

The desire was to create more of an extension of the sonic narrative and to resonate the message conveyed by this album even more.

What does “MBONDI” add to the story you’re telling with Madiba?

Mbondi allows, through the embodiment and speaking about a flower, to give life to the magnificent beings that surround us and whose existence and the love that nature sometimes bestows upon us through the presence of these living elements, we may sometimes ignore.

The song has such an inventive soundscape. Were you drawing on any kind of imagery when writing “MBONDI”?

Yes, indeed, I am currently very drawn to broad and spacious sounds, somewhat reminiscent of the water of the sea, of infinite spaces.

RY X is such a great fit for this track. Can you talk me through the collaborative process and what it was like working with him?

I have wanted to do a duet with Ry X for over two years. We had the opportunity to meet thanks to a mutual friend who organizes Creative Castle, an event in a castle, for the past two years. We fell in love with each other’s creativity, and he also fell in love with mine as I was already in love with his. We then decided to record something, and I wrote the song that the three of us produced, along with Romain Jovion, a talented young producer. Ry and I worked remotely, and it immediately worked out.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.