Music nomad Alec Lomami talks cultural exchange on the African continent

The rapper is on a star-studded lineup of African artists at this year’s Nightscape at Design Indaba.
Alec Lomami
Alec Lomami

Rapper Alec Lomami’s music unapologetically reflects the amalgam of who he is: African, of the world, joyful, contemplative and a perfectionist. Above all, the Congo-born musician draws on all of his experiences to create a genre-defying sound with one aim: “I really want to showcase how we party in Francophone Africa.”

Lomami is bringing what he calls a Central Africa and West-Africa centric set to Nightscape at Design Indaba, the annual Design Indaba Festival’s inner-city experience. He’ll be joined by the likes of Petite Noir, Zaki Ibrahim, DJ Steloo, Kwaitour and Design Indaba alum Blinky Bill.

The lineup sits alongside the Emerging Creatives exhibition, the Tolerance Travelling Poster Show exhibition, the Most Beautiful Object Exhibition and more – all housed around an experiential installation designed by British designer Morag Myerscough.

The festival speaks to the scale and ambition on the African continent as a driving force for creativity and innovation.

“Obviously, we all want our art to be appreciate beyond our own borders but it’s just not something I worry about,” says Lomami.

“I'm excited that we’re seeing more and more cultural exchange within the continent. I think it's dope to see a show in South Africa with Congolese, Ghanaians, and Kenyans on the bill, and vice versa.

Hopefully that spirit will go beyond the music to more clearly see the interdependency between us all.”

Lomami has called many places home, from Kinshasa to New Orleans and now, Cape Town. The combination of all these experiences plus the innovative spirit already on the continent has added to Lomami's allure.  

“I’m really excited to see more and more African artists and fans alike not waiting on Western validation,” he said in an interview with ELLE South Africa.

“I’m also excited to see more and more festivals featuring various styles and genres of African music, breaking the stereotype of what African music is supposed to sound like.”

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