Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mohombi: "Not exactly Captain Ugly"

Mohombi is on the right, fact fansSo, last week I was summoned to a posh central London hotel and pushed in front of Lady Gaga's producer, RedOne, who had some Important Messages to impart about his new record label venture. Obviously, I spent the whole time asking about Bad Romance and Poker Face instead - and the results are on the BBC website. I was particularly impressed when he said they'd written Bad Romance on a bus. I can't even write a text message on the bus.

Anyway, the first signing to Mr One's new label is a Swedish-Congolese singer called Mohombi. RedOne - a blinding solar flare of energy at the best of times - literally exploded out of his seat when describing this new discovery.

"He's going to be a global phenomenon," he said, in a curious accent that blends his native Morocco, his adopted homeland of Sweden and the occasional slip into Hollywood-speak ("My friend Bono" - urgh).

Bizarrely, RedOne went on to compare his new signing to 1990s novelty dance act Reel II Reel (I Like To Move It, Move It). "They had big songs, but nobody knew the artist," he said. "Now, for the first time, we have the superstar who's been performing all his life, but with global hits like that."

To me, his debut single sounds more like 1990s one-hit-wonder Diana King - whose Shy Guy is built around the same chord structure and soca rhythms as Mohombi's debut, Bumpy Ride. But RedOne insists the performer, who has already won a South African Grammy, isn't destined to be a flash-in-the pan.

"He's not competing with Gaga but, just like her, he has his own world and his own sound," the producer said. "And he's got the looks. Girls and guys are going to go crazy for him. They're going to want to get next to him."

And who said pop was shallow? Judge Mohombi's music (and his pretty, pretty face) below.

Mohombi - Bumpy Ride

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