Marius Billy: Creating world music

BilOne of the best things about running Mundus International, is the number of great people we meet along the way. Marius Billy, Communications Officer at the Embassy of the Republic of Congo, is one of those.

Apart from his work at the embassy, Marius Billy is also a great musician and on 15 December his debut album The Sum Of My Pardon is released. The album is drawing attention to the changes in the world, particularly those in Africa.

The inspiration for Marius Billy’s debut album begins with his childhood. Growing up amongst the sounds of the Congo River Basin, Marius’ own musicianship was fostered in guitar lessons from the missionaries of the former Swedish mission station in Ingoumina (Zanaga) where he was raised, and soon developed into creating music of his own. Not only was his father a gospel choir instructor, the influence of which can be heard throughout the album, but also he would regularly see the indigenous people perform when they came into the village. The indigenous music holds a special place for Billy who, whilst touring Scandinavia with his gospel band, found that people were intrigued by it. He spent a lot of time researching the Congolese tribes and their music and he began to feel a connection with them.

Since then, Marius has spent most of his life working towards people coming together through music, and this is the core of each song on The Sum of My Pardon.  The Sum of my Pardon was years in the making for him, as he wrote and collaborated with many different people, drawing from his vast and immense life experiences. The influences of Jazz, Blues and most importantly, traditional African music can be heard throughout the album which acts as a window into the immense journey that Billy has been on.

This magical compilation can be referred to as World Music, because it’s creation has literally spanned the globe.

Having moved away to Sweden to escape civil war in is home country, Marius Billy returned when war had abated to set up a charity. Afrique Profonde aids in the preservation of the indigenous people and land of Congo, and uses creative and musical projects to help in their fight. For Billy, music is an incredibly powerful thing that he believes can help bring exposure to his charity and help them reach their goals.

Jessica Nilsson Williams is the CEO & Founder of Mundus International. She has a long-standing interest in international affairs, having worked in the field for 20 years. She began her career as the political advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, and then worked in the corporate- and NGOs sectors London and Singapore before returning to Stockholm. In 2011 she took up a senior role at the New Zealand Embassy before founding Mundus International in 2012.