Author Topic: THE CODES OF CONGOLESE MUSIC PART 1 THE HIERARCHY  (Read 493 times)

archos on: May 29, 2020, 19:29

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In a any group,the most important figure and status is the leader,whether in a configuration of a group of friends or in the configuration of a writer deciding to recruit musicians in order to start a fulltime career(like the example of koffi olomide,felix wazekwa,karmapa...),or the configuration of either splitting members of a big group(the wenge's or the 3 les marquis leaders) or also more recently the formula of leader coming from an established which still exists after him(from alain mpela to these days)
the hierarchy in groups consists of a leader which depending on his popularity can become some sort of everpowerful semi-god,then an administration consisting of a secretary,sometimes a vice-secretary,a director of marketing,spokesmen of different styles then the group's hierarchy consisting of a chef d'orchestre,an artistic director,somebody in charge of discipline in the group, a chef de repetition who is in charge  of coordinating with technicians the setup of rehearsal,picking the songs to rehearse and sometimes picking who rehearses when not interfered in that by those upper in the hierarchy
in some groups there is a vice president role which is an influent member next to the leader

-CHEF D'ORCHESTRE

the number 1 of the artistic hierarchy after the leader,often picked over two factors,loyalty or being a charismatic figure in the group
there has been chef d'orchestre for decades in congolese music but if somebody can be picked as very revolutionary for that role in modern era,it would be alain mpela in bcbg who implemented a couple of concepts to make that chef d'orchestre become very special
therefore each group needed to have their alain mpela,the chef d'orchestre in congolese music has ability to decide in every of the other sections of the hierarchy within the band,he can suspend a musician then inform the leader who'd validate based on trust,he can change songs rehearsed or performed in concerts,in some groups he can be more influential than artistic director in picking who is allowed on stage,as sometimes the "superpowerful" leader has no time to closely monitor every single member who has to be on stage throughout concert,especially with the way congolese is turning more and more individualist and self centered,with leaders letting chefs ruling fully as they consider that people come to concerts for them  so as long as them leaders are there its all good
the chef has in most group the right to bring potential contracts in the group,or potential donors,he is one of the rare members of the group generally who talks regularly with the leader
in some groups being chef d'orchestre also implies  an involvement in the dark secrets of the group
he is either involved on unsettling musicians based on their relationships,or on leader's order,or sometimes used as a scapegoat by members who leave knowing they are the closest to leaders

-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

that role in most of the cases is given to instrumentists who are supposed to have a wider understanding of music than singers,their responsability is to train new members,teach them the songs and if needed be adjust their type of singing or playing to the philosophy of their group,another responsability they have is to monitor sound of their groups in concerts and in studios,some of the artistic directors literally becoming  almost full time studio assistants (like djino liaki or jules kibens)
in some cases the artistic director is also one of the charismatic figures of the group(for example alain makaba,flamme kapaya...)
it also happened sometimes that leaders pick artistic director just based on loyalty or affection,regardless of purely artistic aspect

-CHEF OF DISCIPLINE

Chef of discipline's main responsability is musicians turning up on time at concerts and rehearsals,suspending with permission of the leader musicians who breach rules
technically their role would allow them to suspend everybody except the leader but their authority is mainly limited to those who are simple members
the advantages of their role is that they have access to bringing people to join their band,adding more people than random members to mabanga lists on albums,they also can bring contract and take a percentage of it(maximum 5 per cent)
one of the flip sides of the chef of discipline and the other chefs is that they tend to overuse their power to either get money from musicians or gifts to be in a good position in the group,or sleep with female dancers with promise to make them become trip regulars

-CHEF DE REPETITION

chef de repetition is the role which depends of all the other roles,their role consists of assisting the artistic director and the technicians to set up the rehearsals,discusses with the artistic director,with possible interference of other chefs,about the choice of songs to rehearse
sometimes,their authority allows them to pick depending of their relationships who is programmed in various songs to sing or play instruments
one of their usual ways to endear themselves to leaders is bringing donors to rehearsals(but once leaders are convinced they can influence the donors to help you only when they agree)
in some groups the chef of repetition share with the chef of discipline or the chef d'orchestre the secret spotting of finding women for the leaders in concert(then the staffs dealing with the rest)

THE SPOKESMEN

their role is pretty simple,basically their work consists in telling to people what the leaders tell them to say,while they chill at home or they party outside
spokesmen can make up to 20 mediatic appearances in a week on various tv channels or on internet but they also have a responsability which is controled by the director of marketing which is to promote and praise their leader about his past,present and future(the director of marketing in most groups having a pretty basic role,very little authority and freedom)
outside their basic role of saying what they are told,they are either told to attack or respond to haters or do it on their own knowing in most cases they wont get suspended as even if leaders is unhappy he'll see the other side of it that you put your neck on the line for him

THE MARKETING DIRECTOR

as basic as it can be,pretty simple,leader says give spokesmen this budget for tv roundups,give this to editors to make short compilations of our concerts to give to spokesmen each week or each other week
it is very very rare in congolese music based in kinshasa to see director marketing having all space to completely build mediatic plans and strategies and have the leader adopting their idea,on the contrary they can try to suggest on the odd occasion but leaders decide the opposite singlehandedly(excepts artists who have a parallel professional staff coming from abroad mainly)
even a simple friend or staff member can see his ideas much more considered than those of the marketing director

THE CHEFTAINE OF DANCERS

often picked naturally by loyalty,the longest serving being cheftaine,then the second longest taking over and so on,or sometimes it can happen that a proven charismatic dancer arriving from another group is promoted  to cheftaine role demoting the one who is there as the most loyal
another factor which can make a dancer becoming cheftaine regardless of loyalty is becoming the leader's official favourite among dancers assuming most leaders sleep with various dancers of the groups then leave them to chefs when they move to newer members
outside their responsabilities of picking and buying uniforms for the dancers,coordinating along with choreographers the organization of their dance shows,they are trusted by leaders to keep an eye on the money showered on them in concert and pick it up to get a percentage after concert
another secret responsability they can have in some groups is to be sent to donors to seduce them in order to bring more money for the boss and the group

Mfumu Vata #1 on: May 29, 2020, 22:38

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Back in the days you Monica Celeste, Zina Bilaho, Claudine AC Milan, Linda Mondele, etc. who were really influent as cheftaine. But nowadays the cheftains aren't know (except Merveille Ya Mado), let alone the dancers.

Congolitude #2 on: May 29, 2020, 23:13

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Very interesting, thank you vieux for the time that you take to learn us the codes of our music

CM PRINCE #3 on: May 29, 2020, 23:20

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Back in the days you Monica Celeste, Zina Bilaho, Claudine AC Milan, Linda Mondele, etc. who were really influent as cheftaine. But nowadays the cheftains aren't know (except Merveille Ya Mado), let alone the dancers.
Yeah that's so true I honestly don't know any dancers nowadays except for that dancer in QL I think her names Mamie? she's been there since the Monde Arabe days.

shamala #4 on: May 30, 2020, 18:26

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Waaah
"....girls for the boss and donors"
PORTE-PAROLE NON OFFICIEL DE JB MPIANA ET WENGE BCBG.

archos #5 on: May 30, 2020, 22:57

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Waaah
"....girls for the boss and donors"

yes bro maybe a bit less now with dancers being less and less charismatic but few years ago you could see a dancer sent to a minister to unlock 50K(in which she'd get 500 )

shamala #6 on: June 01, 2020, 06:45

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Waaah
"....girls for the boss and donors"

yes bro maybe a bit less now with dancers being less and less charismatic but few years ago you could see a dancer sent to a minister to unlock 50K(in which she'd get 500 )

Hehehe...eeeiiish  ...is that in USD?
PORTE-PAROLE NON OFFICIEL DE JB MPIANA ET WENGE BCBG.

mokosarkani #7 on: June 01, 2020, 09:13

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thank you for taking time to write all this, great knowledge

archos #8 on: June 01, 2020, 22:49

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Waaah
"....girls for the boss and donors"

yes bro maybe a bit less now with dancers being less and less charismatic but few years ago you could see a dancer sent to a minister to unlock 50K(in which she'd get 500 )

Hehehe...eeeiiish  ...is that in USD?

yes and 500 i am being nice,sometimes nothing sometimes less or in a overestatic day with guys like jb or koffi who cant contain excitment it can be more
dancers even go to sorcerers to attract both the leaders and donors
i remember cultura once had a dancer half congolese half malian and when donors arrived on stage she'd go home with  2K minimum in a concert(wazekwa himself not being a big fan of being showered money given how he is cautious with where the money can come from does not take much much showering himself he says if you want you can give him off stage and he'll pray or make inquiries before using it"
and one day cultura went in an african country,gabon i think and they found in her bag 6 juju things  and wazekwa fired her once they arrived back
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 22:55 by archos »