Ya Kid K was born Manuela Barbara Moasco Kamosi in Zaire, 1973. By the time she was 11, Kamosi had moved to Belgium. From there she traveled to Chicago, arriving in the Windy City just in time for the mid-'80s underground house music boom. Kamosi ingratiated herself into the scene, eventually taking the rap name Ya Kid K. After moving back to Antwerp, Ya Kid K started rapping with the local Fresh Beat Productions crew. (FBP were well-known as one of the initial groups in the "FritHop" scene, which was what rapping in Flemish came to be known as.) At the same time, would-be techno producer and transplanted American Jo Bogaert (real name: Thomas de Quincy) was shopping his demo of music that fused house rhythms with hip-hop vocals and attitude. It found its way to Ya Kid K and Welshman MC Eric (last name: Martin), and the two quickly united with Bogaert to form Technotronic.
Technotronic's single "Pump Up the Jam" was an international smash in 1989. Featuring Ya Kid's laconic, somewhat androgynous vocals over an insistent four/four beat and pulsating synths, the song was the embodiment of Bogaert's "hip-house" formula. But in a classic case of record-business tomfoolery, Ya Kid K was almost shut out of stardom. Despite K's lead rap on "Pump Up the Jam," Bogaert had hired South African model Felly to appear on the cover of Technotronic's debut, as well as in the "Pump Up the Jam" video, lip-synching raps in a language she did not speak. Controversy ensued, and both Ya Kid K and MC Eric were featured in the videos for the soundalike follow-up singles "Get Up! (Before the Night Is Over") and "Rockin' Over the Beat." K went on to contribute a rap to Belgian rap crew Hi Tek 3's 1990 hit "Spin That Wheel." She also did what any newly minted celebrity would do: She contributed a song to the soundtrack for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II. "Awesome" appeared in August of 1991 and led up to the release of her solo debut. In 1992, at the world-weary age of 19, Ya Kid K issued One World Nation. Led by the Technotronic cast-off single "Move This," the album received a brief boost when the song was used in a wide-ranging campaign for Revlon cosmetics. But despite the popularity of similar dance acts like C+C Music Factory and Real McCoy, Technotronic and Ya Kid K were old news, and One World Nation failed to sell.
There was, of course, the comeback album. 1995's hopefully titled Recall failed to help anyone remember the group, and once again Technotronic disbanded. Not much was heard from Ya Kid K until she resurfaced with a guest rap on Life Transmission, the 2001 album from Belgian avant-rockers DAAU. ~ Johnny Loftus, All Music Guide
Written by Johnny Loftus