Author Topic: IS OUR MUSIC GOING DOWN A DANGEROUS DIRECTION?  (Read 1465 times)

archos on: January 09, 2020, 20:29

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Few minutes ago i was with friends ot one friend's houseand we were watching old jb werra koffi dvds and i said to myself even if we were not getting the concerts of kinshasa in real time like nowadays but the so called "local" concerts for some were iconic,even outside martyrs,palais du peuple,ghk you could have a concert in masina making a proper impact while today because of,for me inferiority complex and brainwashing, even playing at ghk rotana and co means nothing even for the media darlings of our press
there is zero strong music in the world without a strong local basis,even the west and east africans music whose countries once were our party fields for 9 months of afro european tour took upon themselves to develop their music so that they are no more restricted to the odd starting act before koffi salif keita papa wemba and so on perform
even the americans never ever ever ever you'll see the migos,even beyonce or rihanna tell you that its bigger for them to perform at zenith than at staples center or madison or other big venues they have
but what are we doing instead? he played in kin? well he just assembled two three people from his area and they entered for free just to pull a decent crowd,lets move one he should play abroad like x y z and he better fill crowd
when was the last time a star from abroad had an event in kinshasa
it seems our music is taking the direction of being oriented towards a couple of individuals  trying to exist where it apparently matters now aka abroad rather than a strong overall music ready to take africa by storm again

SLK97 #1 on: January 09, 2020, 21:41

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So what you're saying is that by keeping themselves to themselves and focusing on a couple of individuals, the Kinois risk ruining recent Congolese music's international reputation.

archos #2 on: January 09, 2020, 22:12

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i am saying that we could be stronger if we learned to value more again playing at home and if people really want congolese music to come back strong as a whole but i have the feeling that all what matters to many is that their artist is the one "who saves the pride of drc"
we should not be a country of the odd person who saves the pride,so if we value our artists at home better they have higher chances to cement something abroad,in my opinion
imagine in the past,congolese music as a whole was so strong as a whole that even guys like damien aziwa or jf ifonge had success in africa,lifted by the "label" of the congolese music and i feel we had lost the "label",it is coming back but for me it is not surrounded with the right mentality

Cavalier Solitaire #3 on: January 12, 2020, 18:51

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That's why it's laughable to hear artists who mainly play in DRC being labeled as "locale" while those who perform outside are labeled as "internationale" and are more respected. It's funny because the DRC like Nigeria and South Africa has the right mix of factors that make someone who is a big name within the country to be able to be respected even more abroad. I have noticed that even the local media content of what is covered is tailored towards pipo in the Diaspora not for those within the country. It's like in DRC to be influential you have to do right in the eyes of the Diasporans who are believed to have more money and influence.

archos #4 on: January 12, 2020, 20:23

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yeah the result of all this is events like fikin which used to be prepared for weeks by our artists almost like a zenith,now even i can decide to pick some guys and perform at fikin,it has completely lost its myth due to complex of thinking doing good things at home is only the result of inviting people if it was that easy every artist would pull crowds every week for their image, and that if you are a good artist you must spend your life performing abroad
and this forces artists to go into afrobeat to try get contracts abroad while we were and should still sell our rumba and ndombolo abroad,its like you go to nigeria or ghana and  abandon ndombolo to dance shaku shaku,they see that every day from the  random1 year old kid to grandparents

$afari #5 on: January 14, 2020, 02:28

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Bwana Archos
Julius Caesar once told his soldiers: “I would rather be first in a village than second in Rome”. With that in mind, I somehow sympathise with your view about Congolese (people & media) ignoring local performances but I think you are missing key points:
1)   Popularity is now measured by YouTube views and to a lesser degree IG followers or FB likes. I bet that if given a choice of:
    a.   Performing 1 week at FIKING or GHK or
    b.   10m views on YT within that same week
Fally, Ferre etc would opt for (b)
2)   Afrobeats in its various guises is IMH far easier to compose and produce than Congolese music, 3-4 mins of Afrobeats is catchy and easier to dance than 10 mins generique (with 5 mins of mabanga!!). Yemi Alade’s “Johnny” has 112m views, that’s probably 3-4 times the COMBINED views of Koffi, JB, Werra, Ferre & Fally!! This probably explains Fally’s obsession of getting “international” recognition (however you define it) and paying for YT views.
3)   Diaspora: Nigerians, the proponents of Afrobeats, are busy promoting their music, aided by Africa’s largest diaspora and being the most populous country on the continent. Meanwhile, Congolese have soit-disant combattants, QED.
4)   Kinshasa is no longer the Mecca of African music; if anything, Congolese is music is perceived as archaic, something to play for the over 50s! I recently hosted & DJed a NY party, we had about 60 people, with Westerners and mix of Africans (from all parts of the continent), Awilo & Innoss B were the only Congolese artists I could play!!

In summary, Congolese music faces an existential threat, anyone with a laptop can produce a 3 mins hit that once viral will eclipse all the achievements Congolese have made over the last 6 decades. DRC’s neighbours now have their own artists and look up to Afrobeats for inspiration. I hope Ndombolo will find a messiah until then we are truly in the era of Afrobeats.

PS: Nigerians always feature with each other, all in the name of promoting their music & culture, meanwhile Congolese artists are busy fighting each other over crumbs. Imagine the explosion of Fally & Ferre doing another Wake Up. Or consider if Koffi re-assembling the old QL or best of all if WM 4x4 reunited for an album & tour, just imagine!!
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 02:47 by $afari »
The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity and the brute by instinct." - Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman Statesman & Philosopher

archos #6 on: January 14, 2020, 02:50

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voila bro that is my real concern,if we keep following trends to remain relevant one day we will not be able to conquer the world anymore
i might be naive on that but i think a common dance and animation for one two years would do our music some good and send to the other countries " you know in congo there is a new thing they are promoting,it is nice"
jb werra wemba wazekwa (and werra trying to bring in koffi) thought about doing something like that,at least trying to find something like that together but egos got the better of them,as usual
looking at it,the era since the progressive collapse of our music at expense of coupe decale and anglophone music is the most "separated" our music has ever been,there is probably the highest ever number of solo artists have seen and probably the lowest quality(in the past there was numbers too but there was high quality along with the diversity)
so instead of having several geniuses doing their "magic" and taking us far,we have talented trend followers(although some still make an effort of creativity) appearing as those who try to maintain the name of DRC on the map of african music
the perfect example is robinio and fabregas they could have been the guys giving a new breath to genuine congolese music,but they both went down the trend following( fabro is working on an "international" album,while robinio has dumped generiques for like you said the 3minutes of "fingers crossed that it can be a hit" formula
artists from abroad fear and respect congolese artists for their ability of doing rumba and sebene on live so well,and i dont want our musicians to be respected for trying to do like the brothers,yes they can do that but our music need its new micko's,new mario's,new loi's,new pentagone's... even if to eat faster our musicians have to follow on the odd occasion
because tomorrow out of the blue it can be the music of madagascar taking africa by storm,what will they do,trying to follow that music or trying to do what they know best either in its most natural form and timing,or in a intelligent adaptation in terms of timing and "efficiency per minute" of the reduced format,of what they do best
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 02:54 by archos »

$afari #7 on: January 14, 2020, 03:06

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"music of Madagascar"....LOL LOL....that killed me!! I have no words for you Archos!!
On a serious note...I recently watched some documentary about African music...it ranked Congolese No1 simply because of its stage presence, computer-generated beats can't beat the wizardry of Flamme Kapaya/Tolbert Solo but it all comes down to Congolese artists reverting to "band system" where they join forces to produce the best rather become solo artists who produce the bare minimum!

Incidentally, calling yourself "Robinio" or "Fabregas" is the ultimate proof of complex inferiority ...and producing half-baked Afrobeats just demonstrates how irrelevant they are as "Congolese" artists! On the other hand, I don't believe in 15 mins of Mario/Techno Malewa, a medium has to be found
The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity and the brute by instinct." - Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman Statesman & Philosopher

Cavalier Solitaire #8 on: January 14, 2020, 21:02

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Well put @Archos. This is what i have always argued that the biggest enemies of Congolese music are the artists themselves and that problem is further compounded by the lack of music producers willing to put money in rumba artists in order for them to be able to produce timeless compositions. The great Luambos, Madilu System, Tabuley sold rumba in its pure form to the rest of the world and the world still bought into it and these artists where still able to perform outside of the DRC. I don't see how nowadays a rumba artist has to sound like the Nigerians for them to play in anglophone countries. Its all in the mind (inferiority complex) of many of the 5th generation of DRC artists. While the outsiders no matter how much fame they have they secretly admire and even copy the stage performances of rumba artists in terms of dance etc, meanwhile the Congolese artists feel the need to sound like they are coup decale artists. Mawa trop. Even the same style of composition that they are following, this music by Nigerians mostly is like chewing gum, it will come out hot and trending for 1 or two months after that its gone and largely forgotten but we have countless timeless rumba composition that when played twenty years on everyone young and old alike stand up to dance. I mean who doesn't remember Magie, Ndombolo, Solola bien or Titanic etc.

archos #9 on: January 14, 2020, 21:21

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the argument of many people is "but eras change and you have to be on track with the new era"
at this rate in 20 years we'll have congolese musicians doing  east african,then french to go "weuld",then sing in english, then chinese music to be relevant then,then reggeaton to conquer south america
when the competition is bigger like congolese music faces,yes you can sneak a little bit into the assets of your rivals to learn few things but first and foremost you have to up your own game
for example barcelona will never ever betray their philosophy and have two 1,90 meters guys in midfield  or play counter attack like liverpool because they have failed to win champions league in past years,they will improve their attack to score more

CM PRINCE #10 on: January 14, 2020, 21:31

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In my opinion it’s the stupid rhumba trend that’s killed our music and also the facts that artists and bands don’t share cries or anymore.

archos #11 on: January 14, 2020, 21:43

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In my opinion it’s the stupid rhumba trend that’s killed our music and also the facts that artists and bands don’t share cries or anymore.

exactly,even people super strong on generiques and sebene songs like werra or wazekwa followed the 5 per cent sebene 95 per cent rumba trend

CM PRINCE #12 on: January 15, 2020, 02:19

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In my opinion it’s the stupid rhumba trend that’s killed our music and also the facts that artists and bands don’t share cries or anymore.

exactly,even people super strong on generiques and sebene songs like werra or wazekwa followed the 5 per cent sebene 95 per cent rumba trend

They need to stop that... our artists need to go back to sebene this rumba trend is NOT working even guys like Koffi who is one of the main reasons why this whole trend started ends up promoting his generiques more than his rumba cause he knows deep down that's what gets buzz. Our artists promote their Generiques more than their rumba but still prefer to put 30 rumba songs and only 3 generiques in a album, its just ridiculous. Will there ever be a chance for sebene to make a strong return?

Cavalier Solitaire #13 on: January 15, 2020, 06:02

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That argument of eras changing is very valid but should not come at the expense of losing your identity as a country. This, what we are talking about happened to Zambian music at the turn of the millennium. We had a budding music identity and our music was well defined as "Kalindula" were the artists where organised into full bands with all instrumentalist. But beginning 1999 a new era of artists surfaced with this mentality of copying from other music genres for international relevance. What happened after that is that a few artists where able to penetrate the neighboring countries but they were nowhere near the fame that bands had before 1999. And the resulting effect is that in my country today, our music is undefined, in short we lost our identity. DRC like many African countries is suffering the effects of changes in the demographic characteristics in that majority of the population is below 25 years old. This is the generation that likes copying styles from outside thinking there own is inferior. For example we have a generation that wants Koffi to sing like Drake or Davido if he is to stay relevant. Therein lies the existential threat to Congolese music. The sooner the music industry in DRC realises that the better. I shudder to think that in 25 years from now we may not have rumba music to talk about just like Zambia lost its identity music wise 20 years ago and now we have a few artists trying to revitalize that but it's seems to little to late.

Mirobexx #14 on: January 15, 2020, 11:29

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Congolese music is defined by its live perfomance. I took my niece to a function in France. GKGD and Family were perfoming. She is now a convert they did put on a show. All these Afrobeats stars live shows are nothing