By Jonathan Mbiriyamveka
TRESOR Riziki is a musician with a passion for life and a hunger for new experiences. His impoverished upbringing has left him determined to make the utmost of his life.
Tresor (French for treasure), has virtually changed the music-scape in his homeland, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where rhumba music is sort of a staple.
He is now the pride of DRC having conquered the world stage with his 2015 breakout single, ‘Never Let Me Go’, a number that cuts across genres, backgrounds and influences.
The multiple award-winning and platinum-selling singer-songwriter and producer is basking in the glory of nomination for Best Pop/Alternative at the recently held MTV Africa Music Awards in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Although the Congolese, who signed to the legendary record label Sony RCA in Africa, lost to South Africans – Kyle Deutsh and Shekhinah – Tresor still held his head high for representing the country well.
To show his music prowess, Tresor also inked a record deal with Ultra Records globally, which also plays host to the likes of Avicii, Calvin Harris, Deadmaus just to name a few.
Orphaned at an early age, he left Goma in the Eastern DRC after finishing high school and headed for Durban in 2007 with the sole purpose of pursuing a professional music career. It was a new world for a small town boy, having to learn English in a short space of time.
Despite the challenges, Tresor managed to survive earning a living working both as car guard by day and security guard by night.
In between the two jobs he managed to hustle his way into the local Durban music scene, linking up with local musicians and quickly making a name for himself.
He co-founded Durban afro-fusion band, Maisha, in 2008 and was soon playing alongside the likes of Lira, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Freshly Ground, Jesse Clegg, Prime Circle and Johnny Clegg, just to name a few.
He was chosen by Intercontinental Hotels Group and Rolling Stone Magazine Africa as the winner of 2012 Holiday Inn Songwriting Challenge.
For those not in the know, Tresor has written songs for Idols South Africa, Heavy K and many other established local acts.
He penned two songs for Zahara and also collaborated with the singing sensation on a major song called ‘Limbisa’ and another title called ‘Brighter Day’ on her Phendula album, which went triple platinum.
His debut album ‘VII’ dropped last year in September having worked on it for the last seven years.
Featured on the album are collaborations with AKA, Beatenberg, Khuli Chana and The Soil.
‘VII’ opened at number two on the iTunes Albums Chart in South Africa.
His latest single ‘Zambezi’ featuring Beatenberg is climbing high on the music charts down in South Africa.
Tresor has had successful shows since 2013, including his performances at the ROSCARS Awards (International Wildlife Awards) and FRANCOFETE (headliner of the Human Rights Day).
It appears Tresor’s music is being appreciated by strangers than his own people just like the biblical prophet. But one thing is for sure – he is not stopping anytime soon!