atouages originates from Kasaï (Zaire), but spent her childhood inKinshasa, where she immersed herself in the most varied forms of music,from the great Zairean classics to traditional music (Lubas andothers), including music heard on the streets and in children’s games.At 8 years of age, she was already singing with friends in a smalllocal group. At the age of 15, she arrived in Belgium to study, whereshe was very quickly noticed in the fashion world and led a career as amodel, concurrentry with her studies.
But, her passion for music remained. After being part of several groups(Afro Influenced), she decided to go back to her roots and sang invarious typical Rumba groups. At the same time, she was following acourse in Anthropology at the University of Liège, taught by professorGossiaux, one of the most emminent experts in secret Congolesesocieties (himself initiated as a member of the Leopard Man tribe). Shediscovered the vast cultural and traditional richness of Africa, and inparticular her own country.
However, she strived to progress further, exposing herself to differentcultures and music: travelling to Western Africa, Angola and Zaire,engaging in exchange with artists of all different genres.
Around this time she met the famous Zairean arranger, Maïka Munan, whoencouraged her to persevere and perfect herself. She took singinglessons with Mila Lumbrosio, a chorist in great demand in the Parisianarena (By Johnny Halliday, amongst others) and with Mira Chaar, founderon the National Organisation of Gospel in France. It was at this timethat she formed Gingko Biloba (The tree of a thousand Ecues) a Worldmusic group, with musicians from very diverse background: jazz, africanmusic, salsa… She performed with this group for several years inBelgium,Holland and Germany and has participated in many World Musicfestivals, including the notorious festival of Sphinks (Belgium) andTilburg (Holland).
A chance meeting with Touré Kunda who were impressed with her uniquevoice and spirit encouraged her to record an album for which she wrotethe majority of material. This album provided the opportunity to conveyher message trough a quality production, reflecting her perfectionism.The album is a journey from Central to Western Africa, with songs inLingala, Thiluba, Wolof, French and Soninké. (to be released soon)
Finally, Gingko Biloba is also the name of an association wich providesaid for the children of Kinshasa, and more specifically wich sponsorsthe local schools that she knows personally.