Rapper who fled Ukraine now ready to launch new musical career from Milton Keynes

Lopes Kiala is a name you may not have heard – but watch this space, because his music is about to explode onto the market, and his backstory is the stuff of movies.
Meet the man who delivers the musical vibes! Picture – suppliedMeet the man who delivers the musical vibes! Picture – supplied
Meet the man who delivers the musical vibes! Picture – supplied

His friends call him ‘Vibe Deliverer’ – no matter what your mood you are in, he will have a song to speak to it. A talented rapper his musical genre cuts into Rap, RnB, Ghetto-Zouk, and Afro but it all has one thing underlying it; it reflects his own experiences and emotions.

He recently released video clip of his song “What you gonna say”. This song is about relationship commitments the video is already with 100,000 views.

Lived in most continents, speaks several languages, has already had a successful musical career – so how does a man of Angolan and US heritage, who was born in Brazil, end up in making music in Milton Keynes?

The war in Ukraine is the answer.

Fleeing war

When the shelling began he and his family, like many others, fled to Poland – they lost their home, their security, their livelihood and, for Lopes, he lost his music. He was among many Angolans offered the chance to be repatriated there. But he knew that would not give him or his family the kind of life and opportunities they could find elsewhere. So, like many, he decided instead to stay in Europe and rebuild from nothing.

He says he will be always grateful to the “lovely people” in the UK who gave them a home in Milton Keynes. But he wanted to quickly establish their own home and worked hard in many different jobs – from washing dishes to warehouse work – to get them settled. Now he is once more dedicating his time to making music and has set up his own recording company Danamar Records.

International backstory

Lopes grew up travelling, spending his formative years between Angola and the US. His mum was African and his dad American with a job that took him all over the globe. Whilst he’s always been drawn to putting down his thoughts as song-lyrics he didn’t begin making his own music until after 2010 – when his mother died.

“She was my best friend,” Lopes says. “And I was struggling with losing her. I decided to find a country where I could be at peace and relax – and that was Ukraine.”

He moved there in 2014. It was there that he finished his university studies.He learned Russian – “I love languages,” he said. “Nobody there spoke English so I had to. I speak Portuguese as well, because I’ve lived there too.”

His linguistic skills helped him finding work in the UK – in the warehouse in Milton Keynes he proved invaluable in helping communicate with the many workers who did not speak much English

Back in Ukraine he initially worked at a recording studio – writing songs for others and helping them to make their music. But, having found the book of lyrics he’d written when he was younger, he began to record his own songs, eventually committing himself to his music full time.

“I’m a MC,” he says. “My songs have a message. My friends call me the Vibe Deliverer – if you feel bad I have a song for that; if you feel happy I have a song for that; if you have issues, I have a song for that!”

Lopes has not been without issues himself, losing everything when they fled Ukraine, facing racism most places he goes, having to choose not to go back to Angola but to start over in yet another new country. He admits there are times where he has been depressed and struggled to motivate himself.

Over 200 Angolan citizens were offered a flight home after being displaced by the conflict in Ukraine, but only 30 chose to do so. Youth unemployment in Angola is around 60 per cent and he’s realistic about the lack of opportunities there.

Spreading the message

But, despite so many setbacks, Lopes has incredible drive, enthusiasm and energy – his music has many positive messages, and he sings about subjects that will resonate with others.

Now he’s ready to share that with people in the UK and beyond and wants them to know his story and hear his music. Having set up his own company and is currently working on more tracks, videos and marketing – and finding his way round the incredibly complex laws in the UK for the music industry.

“There are so many!” he laughed. “I had taken a break from music because I had to look after my family. Now I have done a couple of open mikes and started recording again. It’s something I love to do and when you do something you love it’s not like work.”

He has a created his team an accountant to set up for the business side and has a DJ and a band to put together the tracks. With a few shows in London and Milton Keynes lined up, and an album ready for release, he’s looking forward to seeing people’s reaction to his music.

“I can make a song about any subject. I love the environment of the studio – everything inspires me!”

For a taste of Lopes Kiala’s music have a listen here.