Son of the extraordinary Tabu Ley, Pegguy has the challenging legacy of taking over from his illustrious father in a family already well-known for renowned artists. Meeting with the Ley heir.
Hello, first tell us the correct spelling of your name?
Fun fact, my father was a fan of the writer Charles Peguy, but I write it P.E.G.G.U.Y.
Being the son of the great Tabu Ley is a bit like being part of the African Marley family, right?
Above all, it is an honor to be born into the family of this singer who marked Africa. It is also a challenge, the bar is so high that as an offspring, you are required much more than others. I was formed to make excellent music to avoid shaming that name.
So, you felt compelled to make music?
What attracted me to this arena is the pleasure of creating. For me who does 80% of the composition, it is magical to bring something to life and I also have a lot of fun communicating and seeing that people consume my art. I like to bring something to people. There are so many extraordinary facets in music that give us an inexplicable feeling.
You are a composer of afrobeat, afrotrap and coupé décalé?
It’s part of me and I do it naturally. Our generation is luckier than our parents’ to be able to listen to a whole bunch of different musical genres thanks to the Internet and due to travels… I grew up among lots of musical flavors, it is normal. The hardest part is to properly mix them.
In France, we know you for your featurings in R’nB on hip hop tracks, but you come with a multifaceted album and a real rumba career, why such a big jump?
It is a natural journey, I first worked on urban music and then I went back to the roots with performing a show on my father’s music. Then I made an album with the remixes of my dad’s songs. It is a natural crossing in my personal journey.
What is your father’s legacy in all this?
He has been the trigger point because I was singing in french at first. I was doing urban music and then I discovered the wealth of African music through my father’s music. This return to the roots made sense to me, especially the challenge of creation.
For your last album, you exiled yourself back home, what do you draw from this experience?
A unique product. I am a performer, I like to control my own course and not follow the trend. I took the time to add something to my music with a different approach. My goal is to create a trend, not out of pride but rather as a music’s mad scientist. I want to bring something new and hope people will get it that way.
How is Congolese music?
Very well artistically. There is a big emulation, but it remains at the local level because of a lack of real industry. There is no foreign media like Trace TV in Côte d’Ivoire. The music production never stops, it just lacks exposure.
Does Belgium influence you too?
Of course, I’ve lived there. At first, I made a lot of back and forth trips between Belgium and France. The added Belgian value is the artistic freedom, we do not feel the shackles of the French frame of work.
You only produce urban music in your label?
No, I am preparing some African productions but it remains with a spirit of crossover.
In the U.S, urban and African music have managed to merge and create the current trend of the likes of Drake, Davido, Beyonce…although the first people to do this except Quincy Jones were Congolese (bisso na bisso), what do you think about it?
There is a real craze for African music initiated by Anglophones. Nigerians, Ghanaians, Kenyans are english speaking, so they naturally collaborate with them. They are also countries with a real music industry and a strong economic model that interests the Americans. They know that there is a business at stake with much profitability. If we had that in Congo, everybody would want to work with us. I hear that Congolese music is losing of its influence, no it is still as strong creativity wise, but there is no promotional machine behind it to make it possible to bring it to the forefront. We are behind on the production of video clips, broadcast technologies, the quantity of equipment is much less. We are lagging behind on new technologies.
And at last, ” What’s up, doc?”
My album “Sans tabou” (Without Taboo) is available on Spotify, iTunes and Deezer. Good music at an affordable cost for everyone. I experiment with Congolese music by mixing all the experiences I’ve had so far. This is a play on words, I come without dad (Tabu), I do not restrain myself on this album (taboo) and also because I have the Tabu’s blood.