A country music group from the Democratic Republic of Congo plan to shake up the music world on Apple TV+ new music competition series, My Kind of Country.
In the exclusive clip below, creative artistic director, choreographer and movement coach Jemel McWilliams guest stars as he helps the Congo Cowboys shake their nerves so they can use their charisma to energize the crowd. The Congo Cowboys are comprised of vocalist and bassist Julio Sigauque, vocals and banjo player Simon Atwell and lead vocalist Chris Bakalanga. Performing in both English and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s official language Lingala, the Congo Cowboys create a new sound by mixing country music with African beats and instruments. In particular, the group’s use of the banjo brings “the instrument back to its indigenous African roots,” according to the episode’s description.
According to the episode description, the Congo Cowboys have one mission–“to bring people together and get them moving on the dance floor. But it is on the dance floor, where diverse sounds and cultures intermingle, that the band’s radically inclusive message flourishes.”
My Kind of Country embraces diversity within the country music genre not just in its contestants, but also in its hosts and talent scouts, singers Jimmie Allen, Mickey Guyton and Orville Peck. With the series featuring Black and queer representation in its scouts, its clear that the series wants to open up country music to the world. According to the series synopsis:
My Kind of Country is a fresh take on a competition series, breaking down barriers in country music by providing an extraordinary opportunity to diverse and innovative artists from around the world. Scouts Allen, Guyton and Peck each hand-pick a roster of exceptional up-and-coming artists and invite them to the home of country music in Nashville, Tennessee, to showcase their unique sound. The competition winner will receive a life-changing prize from Apple Music, receiving unprecedented support and exposure on the platform.
The series premiered March 24 with three episodes, with an additional three episodes dropping today. The two-part finale is April 7.
Watch the clip below: