Katanga Junior, the rising star hailing from Tanzania and now calling Central Australia home, released his highly anticipated album Pamoja on Friday, February 23. The seven-track masterpiece is a celebration of life in Mparntwe/Alice Springs, offering a poignant portrayal of the desert landscape and the diverse experiences of its inhabitants.

“Pamoja means together in my native tongue of Swahili,” Katanga Junior said, “this album is a collaboration between myself and local artists I really admire; we worked together to create music that would share stories of life and culture in both Alice Springs and Tanzania.”

Pamoja brings together a remarkable ensemble of established and emerging artists from Central Australia, each adding their unique flair to the narrative. With guest vocals from Kirra VollerStuart Joel NuggettTristrum Watkins from Karnage N DarknisCasii WilliamsMyles Turner, and Shilo Monkland, the album seamlessly blends reggae and hip-hop elements to create a dynamic and authentic sound.

This album marks a significant milestone for Katanga Junior, being his first entirely live-recorded studio production. Collaborating with Jez Conlon from Left of Elephant Sound, and mastering by Kris Keogh from Nhulunbuy, the album promises a fresh sonic experience that captures the raw energy and spirit of its creators.

Katanga Junior’s journey from Tanzania to Australia infuses Pamoja with a unique perspective, blending cultural influences and personal experiences into a captivating musical journey. From the smooth rhythms of Mparntwe Queen featuring Kirra Voller, to the powerful, truth-sharing anthem My People featuring Myles Turner, each track offers a glimpse into harshness and beauty of life in Mparntwe/Alice Springs.

Katanga Jr live in Tennant Creek at Desert Harmony Festival 2023. Photo: G. Barnes