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New York, NY 10005
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Los Angeles, CA 90034
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Jalen N’Gonda

Contact

Amanda Perlstein
amanda@bighassle.com

Biography

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.

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4240x2832

Credit

Ryan Jafarzadeh