Mohombi is a charting Swedish-Congolese R&B singer, songwriter, and dancer who has also worked professionally under his given name of Mohombi Moupondo. He was half of the Swedish hip-hop group Avalon with his brother DJ Djo Moupondo, and has been delivering hit singles since 2011.
Mohombi grew up in Congo, one of 14 children born to a Congolese father and Swiss mother. His family emigrated to Sweden when he was 13 to escape the ravages of the Congolese war. Exposed to music from a young age, he attended Rytmus Music High School in Stockholm and later received a Bachelor's degree from Stockholm’s Music Conservatory. Upon graduation, he and his brother, a local club DJ, formed Avalon. Their songs combined dancehall, hip-hop, and African rhythms. Between 2004 and 2008, the group sold over 500,000 records and won several industry awards. They split in 2009. Mohombi's first solo venture, "Do It," was a collaboration with Swedish rapper Lazee released in Sweden in the spring of 2010. It debuted at number nine on the Swedish Singles Chart. Immediately afterward, Mohombi moved to Los Angeles and was introduced to producer RedOne (Nadir Kayat) of Swedish-Moroccan descent. The singer's debut single, "Bumpy Ride," was issued in the late summer, and was the first release on the producer's 2101 Records, a joint venture with Universal. The track charted in the Top 100 in France, Canada, and Japan and was a global club hit. Two months later, he issued "Miss Me" in the U.K., featuring a guest spot by Nelly. In November, "Dirty Situation" appeared with a spot from Akon. Wasting no time, Mohombi cut his debut album MoveMeant; it was released in Europe in February 2011 on Cherrytree through Island. Another single, "Coconut Tree," featured Nicole Scherzinger. Eventually, over half the album's tracks were issued as singles and became ubiquitous with club DJs.
After touring and making several appearances on television, Mohombi was nominated for Best Swedish Act at the 2011 European Music Awards. He spent most of the next two years writing and doing production work with other artists. He re-emerged in 2014 with the digital single "Maraca," issued and recorded "Suave (Kiss Me)" with Nayer & Pitbull. He dropped the album Universe in 2014, which featured "Maraca" and collaborative tracks such as the single "Movin'" (feat. Caskey, Birdman, & KMC), "Lose It" (feat. Big Ali) and "Grow Old with You" (feat. Geneva). The set's title track inspired its own EP. Titled Universe Remixes, it offered nine versions of the song with work by producers from Jerome Price and Mike Cruz to Casey Alva, Darome, and Soul Cartel. Over the next two years, Mohombi released or appeared on over a dozen singles, ranging from his own "Infinity" and "Let Me Love You" (the latter credited to DJ Rebel & Mohombi and featuring Shaggy), to Les Jumbo's "Sexy" and Alexandra Joner's "Bottoms Up." In the spring of 2017, Mohombi issued "I Feel Good," a pop reggae tune, as a pre-release single for his third album. The track raced up the streaming charts, placing in the Top 20. ~ Thom Jurek
- Democratic Republic Of Congo
- 17 October 1986