Born to a dancer father and a church cantor mother, the youngest of six siblings, Innocent Didace Balume, alias Innoss’ B, has been immersed in music since his earliest childhood. It was in 2010, when he was only 13, that Innoss’B emerged from anonymity by winning the Vodacom Superstar competition, organized by the mobile telephone operator with Akon, an American rapper from Senegalese origin. The teenager receives a check for $25,000 and flies to the United States to record and title with Akon.
For the young musician from Goma, this episode opened a long series of collaborations: Innoss’ B put his voice on titles produced by sure values of Congolese music (Koffi Olomidé, Fally Ipupa, Werrason, etc.) and other African artists. In 2020, the remixed version of Innoss’B’s hit, Yopefeaturing Tanzanian superstar Diamond Platnumz has over 120 million views on YouTube.
At 24, the singer-songwriter and dancer is now considered one of the best ambassadors of Congolese music. His songs, accompanied by clips of original design, reap great success on listening platforms and collect countless “likes” on social networks, like his title Memereleased in March 2021 (over 8.5 million views).
Setting out to conquer Kinshasa, a megalopolis of more than 12 million souls reputed to be difficult, Innoss’B has become a key figure in musical life on the left bank. from Congo River. “The Tiger”, as he is nicknamed, has seen his lifestyle change radically, and his fan clubs multiply.
But Innocent is more than an artist. He forgets neither his modest origins nor his native province and was particularly sensitive to the misfortunes of the affected populations after the eruption, in May 2021, of Nyiragongo. Innoss’ B provided homes to families of victims who lost everything in the tragedy. “I wanted to give back to society a little of what I received from it. I know where I come from and through my foundation, I tried to do what I could to help these families,” the singer humbly explains. His foundation – simply called the Innocent Foundation (IF) – does not intend to stop there: other initiatives in favor of the most vulnerable populations are planned in the health and education sectors.
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Innoss’B’s gesture pleasantly surprised many of his fellow citizens, who thus discovered another facet of his personality. The big names in Congolese music, who sometimes get bogged down in pointless polemics, have for once unanimously appreciated the example by which this young artist preached, who seems to have a good soaked.