Congolese hip-hop artist Marcel Kombo, also known as Mister Trecy, will make his U.S. debut Friday in Portland as part of the Immigrant Welcome Center’s African Summer Concert Series.

Marcel Kombo, known as Mister Trecy on stage, says his lyrics reflect his social reality. Contributed / Immigrant Welcome Center

Kombo, an immigrant to Maine from Brazzaville, is excited to bring his passion for music and performing to the Maine stage. He’ll be featured at the free concert “Congolese Explosion” at 6 p.m. at Congress Square Park. Nkumu Katalay & the Life Long Project Band will also take the stage.

Kombo first started making music in 2013.

“Before that, I was listening to as much music as I could,” he said.

He knew people in the music industry and wanted to learn from them and follow that path himself.

“I started to write my thoughts on paper,” he said, and found it was easier than speaking his thoughts out loud.


“There are some struggles I can’t talk about, but when I record I can say more,” he said. “And some people can see themselves in that reality as well.

“My lyrics are based on my social reality,” he said. “Writing a song is a nice way for me to express my thoughts.”

He began performing live as Mister Trecy, eventually traveling to venues around Congo.

“Music is in my DNA,” he said. “I can’t live without music.”

Kombo makes Afro beats, raps and sings. “I can rap, but most of the time I sing,” he said. “Sometimes I do reggae. I try to combine other styles as much as I can.”

The July 5 show will be Kombo’s first time performing live since immigrating to the United States.


“I’m so excited to perform and do my best to make this event memorable,” he said.

Performing on stage, he said, is a feeling he can’t get anywhere else.

“Communicating with my audience is something supernatural that I can’t feel every single day,” he said. “Being on stage, I feel something that I can’t describe. I feel like I’m in the heavens.

“When I’m on stage, it’s another me and another spirit,” he said. “I have to be connected to my music to feel it … I reach another state of myself.”

Kombo has been working with the Immigrant Welcome Center of Greater Portland for almost a year, he said. He first began taking courses there and started volunteering for them shortly after he immigrated to Maine. Now, he’s on staff as the organization’s digital literacy instructor.

“I have a lot of support from my coworkers there,” he said.


Bau Graves, development officer for the Immigrant Welcome Center, said the organization got a small grant last year and more money has come in this year to support the “New Mainers on Stage” series, held the first Friday of every month.

“Our mandate is supporting immigrant communities in Maine, and immigrants bring cultural vitality to our state, so we wanted to create an opportunity for friends in immigrant communities to show what they can do in a public way,” Graves said.

“A lot of Maine’s cultural history is built on immigrant communities,” he said. “We want to celebrate the cultures that they bring with them.

“I hope people will come out and enjoy themselves, and experience what makes Congolese or Angolan culture so exciting. These are wonderful musicians and we’re happy to be a vehicle to help spread the joy,” he said.

“Mister Trecy is our very own treasure here,” Graves said.

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