Tresor reflects on ‘Nostalgia’

Tresor Riziki
Tresor Riziki
Image: Supplied

Congolese-born pop star Tresor Riziki’s third album recently copped a Sama for best pop album of the year just four months after its release and that does not even begin to show how proud the singer is of this particular body of work.

Popularly known for the hit single Sondela, featuring East London’s Msaki, Tresor’s Nostalgia is musical reflection of his childhood in Congo, where he grew up listening to the likes of late legends Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela, he says.

The singer and producer refers to the album as his most personal project.

“Nostalgia is a sonic trip into my childhood; I basically went back into the music era I grew up in, listening to the music that shaped who I am from the likes of Hugh Masekela, Papa Wemba and Chico Twala.

“I just boxed all that music and interpreted in a way that allows me to show people what moulded me into the artist I’ve become as an adult,” Tresor said. 

He was in the Eastern Cape to promote his album.

Nostalgia is Tresor’s third Sama-winning album after his first album, VII, and second, The Beautiful Madness, won best pop album of the 2016 and 2018 respectively.

The star arrived in SA in 2007 and started out in Durban, where he worked as a car guard by day and security guard by night.

The star left his siblings in Congo in 2003 and decided on the move roughly two years after losing both his parents.

Tresor only shot to fame with the release of VII in 2015, an album that had been in the works for seven years. The Beautiful Madness followed in 2017, garnering critical acclaim the same year Tresor brokered a multi-year record deal with Universal Music.

With Nostalgia, the singer and songwriter hopes to leave a legacy record that will inspire generations to come.

“Every single featured artist is crucial and carefully selected.
“I’ve featured artists whom I believe to be some of the greats of our generation and who can never be ignored.

“This record will be important in the future and I hope the next generations will appreciate the effort that was put in it,” he said.

Nostalgia features African artists AKA, Msaki, Kwesta, Mafikizolo, Lokua Akanza, Sauti Sol, The Soil and Beatenberg.

One of the songs, Nangoja, is the star’s love letter to his late parents. He labels the song his most personal off the album.

“Every song on the album is important to me, but [Nangoja] is a letter I wrote to my late parents after finally going home and seeing my family in 2014 for the first time since I left,” he said.

The goal for Tresor now is a global takeover in hopes of opening international doors for aspiring Africa artists.

“I believe I have already acquired satisfaction; living in satisfaction is what inspires me to work harder so that, one day when I’m old, I can watch generations of artists, even outside music, doing great things globally through avenues that I opened.

“They never have to know that such avenues were opened by me because I also know that the reason I was able to come to South Africa and live the life I’m living was through sacrifices made by ones before me and I don’t even know some of them.”

Nostalgia is available on digital platforms and in physical music stores.