Born in Maryland, USA, Jalen N’Gonda chose the city of Liverpool as the place in which he would flourish as a musician. It was at the age of 11 he began getting into music, inspired by his father’s collection of jazz, hip-hop, and soul records. Since moving to Liverpool in 2014 Jalen has been playing gigs across the UK and beyond. Two years later Jalen is selling out headline shows in London and Geneva, is breaking into the Viral Charts with his single releases and is supporting touring acts such as Laura Mvula, Martha Reeves and Lauryn Hill at the Montreal Jazz Festival. 2017 saw Jalen play his first shows in the US, joining the lineup at Newport Folk Festival, New York City’s Summer Stage Festival and Pickathon. Quickly emerging as a rich and measured new voice, Jalen N’Gonda draws from a complex personal and musical heritage. His family (in part of Zambian descent) herald from Maryland, where N’Gonda was raised in a small town just outside Washington DC. The son of a daycare specialist and IT worker, vintage R&B filled the house, before N’Gonda moved to Liverpool with little knowledge of the UK besides its musical heritage, and a long-held desire to move far away. In Liverpool, the realities of English life – and the stark contrast to a home where very little happens – quickly broadened Jalen’s horizons, leading to a cross-pollination of influences which can be felt in his early tracks. With a full EP to follow in 2018, Jalen N’Gonda’s already warmly-familiar tone is continually marking him out as of the year’s most promising newcomers.