With Valentine's Day just around the corner, we reached out to Montreal musician Pierre Kwenders to get him to share a playlist of his favourite love songs for all occasions. Not only is he an electrifying performer, drawing on influences included Congolese rhumba, South African disco, and 80s pop, he's also a talented DJ. He's a resident at Montreal's monthly after-hours party Moonshine, which has seen guest sets from Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler, Poirier, and Uproot Andy.
"These ten songs are the ones that represent me the most," Kwenders tells THUMP. "As an artist, I've been inspired by these singers all my life. I've been to every stage of love."
"Starting from when you love her so much you can't let go (Lenny Williams) to the moment when she finally decides to leave you (Michael Jackson). Papa Wemba's song describes the love the one and only; Cesaria Evora's song "Yamore" is an ode to love. Since there's no love story without a heartbreak, my song "Mami Wata" describes the story of a guy who got cheated on. Don't get me wrong, love is great. It's not always a sad song."
Check out the songs below or listen to them in one handy Apple Music playlist.
1. Lenny Williams, "Cause I Love You"
2. Boyz II Men, "Rose And A Honeycomb"
3. Bill Withers, "The Same Love That Made Us Laugh"
4. Gil Scott-Heron, "I'll Take Care Of You"
5. Michael Jackson, "She's Out Of My Life"
6. Papa Wemba feat. Sam Mangwana, "Reference"
7. Bamboo, "Bibi Yangu"
8. Cesaria Evora feat. Salif Keita, "Yamore"
9. Koffi Olomide feat. Fally Ipupa - "Effervescent"
10. Pierre Kwenders feat. The Posterz, "Mami Wata"
Catch Pierre Kwenders and Win Butler DJing at DUDEBOX Presents Moonshine in Toronto Feb. 12, more info here.