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Miles from Kinshasa

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“It’s no surprise that on my face it never shows, but wearing smiles for a crowd that’s some dangerous ground,” is the polysemic line Miles from Kinshasa croons over cascading percussion on the opening track off his new EP ‘Beloved’.
Amid gauzy guitar flourishes, whistles and watercolour keys, on track number one, ‘Wearing Smiles’, the South Londoner lays his cards on the table, navigating his way through the murky depths of a relationship on the brink. This bruised vulnerability lays the stage for a project that, in its fullness, transports the listener to a realm of sun kissed melancholia.
Miles, may be “miles from Kinshasa”, but the essence of his homeland and roaming persona (his formative years were spent in Paris) seeps into his diasporic sonic expression; his self-styled moniker a play on the rich cultural cache of the capital, Congo. Invoking the history of his birthplace; the francophone appeal of Paris; and the cosmopolitan melting pot of his home in South London, Miles creates hybridised songs that pull from strands in his nomadic life.
It leads us to now. ‘Beloved’, a generous 8-track EP, is a culmination of a 3-year sojourn; invariably Miles from Kinshasa’s most assured, layered release to date. Miles merges the 80s sophisti-pop shimmer of Sade’s ‘Diamond Life’ - the reverberating sax, plush chords and bossa nova rhythms - with the woozy hedonism of contemporary afro-RnB. Slower, sexier, jazzier – ‘Beloved’ is a heady concoction.

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