KERIM BECKER (composer, multi-instrumentalist, writer, producer) aka Kechou, of Algerian-German descent, was raised in the buzz of Berlin by an Algerian musician and studio owner and a German early day feminist and writer. He has been studying African Music for a number of years, and has produced and performed with different jazz-infused hip hop and Afro-fusion experiments in Germany, and different parts of Africa. For more context, read here.
He represents a collision and merger of two worlds not easily combined without friction and tension, creating harmony in his expression and innovative creative process. Building live loops, fusing organic acoustic hand-made instruments with electronic sounds, he creates hypnotic healing rhythms and grooves that hit the spot.
He has written a multitude of songs with various stylistic influences, gained significant skills in music production, has a broad cultural knowledge around musics in Europe and Africa and plays multiple instruments (Guitar, Gumbri, Bass, Ukelele, Oud, Dingi Dingi, Dundun (Talking drum), Callabash (percussion), Asalato (shaker), Djembe, Conga, Synth, Chitende/Uhadi (musical bows), Mbira, Timbila and Voice). All these skills are subject to continuous work and growth.
Kechou started his loop based collaborations with Gugulethu Duma (Dumama) in Cape Town. The duo has since performed a multitude of gigs in different cities around South Africa, the majority being in Cape Town. Venues of note include Zeitz Mocaa Museum of Contemporary African Art, Redbull Studios Cape Town, The District Six Museum, GUS (Gallery of University of Stellenbosch), Endless Daze Festival and Youngblood Gallery, Cape Town. At the beginning 2019 Dumama & Kechou completed a residency at the Nirox foundation in Gauteng, where they recorded the bulk of their upcoming EP.
Kechou has ventured into live performance collaborations with dancers and choreographers Adriana Jamisse and Julia de Rosenwerth, which led to the creation and performance of Whisper (2017) and Derivations (2018). He spent the first month of 2018 in residency with master musician Matchume Zango in Mozambique to refocus and deepen his musical skills. During a Konjo event in Cape Town Kechou shared a stage with Madala Kunene for a full length improvised set. In the same year he was invited to play two concerts with Morena Leraba in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
At the end of 2016 Kechou completed his first residency with Matchume Zango. Starting from April 2017 he created the project INYE in conjunction with Colombian drummer Jorge Sepúlveda. The four- to six-piece group has since performed multiple gigs around Cape Town and accepted the invitation to play at the Bayimba International Festival of the Arts in Kampala in September 2017.
In 2012 Kechou created and recorded a project with MCs and beatboxers in Kampala, which resulted in the intimate release of the extended Kampala EP and a contribution of Kechou’s band Zaunkoenig to the project “Borda to Borda” 2013, organised by YAEP.ch.
From 2007 to 2018 Kechou was part of the jazz-infused hip hop collaboration Zaunkoenig in Berlin, which performed multiple gigs in clubs and festivals around the city and recorded two albums.