Author Topic: Some of the Biggest Missed Opportunities in the Genre?  (Read 420 times)

Wenge1995 on: April 13, 2019, 08:48

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In the late 90s, General Defao was arguably the biggest star in Africa with Tremblement De Terre and La Guerre De 100 Ans giving him significant exposure throughout the diaspora. Just take a look at the excitement from fans!



The fact that he didn't aggressively seek visas for an extended tour in Europe in 1999 really surprised me. He was more known through Africa than Wenge Musica and Koffi Olomide.

Ahead of him was Papa Wemba and Youssou Ndour, so concerts in Bercy, Zenith, and Olympia were definately a possibility but like I said missed opportunity...


As for Reddy Amisi, he could have been a big leader of an orchestra like Koffi. The acclaim of Prudence should have motivated him and his staff to break completely from Papa Wemba to create a new band (instrumentalist, singers, atalakus, & songwriters).



Remember, it was the relatively mute response to his follow up Ziggy. I suspect the feedback was that people wanted atalakus on his albums, which is why he made the fatal mistake of borrowing Koffi's for Etoile. If he had his own selected crop of atalakus with innovative animations instead of Mboshi/Somono duo, he would be miles ahead in his solo career than he currently is. But as I've mentioned...missed opportunities.



What do you guys think of my analysis? Do you have any artist you're a fan of who missed certain opportunities to be even bigger than they were?

mvulusi96 #1 on: April 13, 2019, 11:17

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Defao already significant exposure throughout the Congolese diaspora in 1992 with songs like Solange, Mulopwe, etc. because of those successes he got a contract to tour in Europe back in 1995. But he was then unlucky that all bandmembers left him Guy Wa Nzambi, Jagger Bokoko, Djodjo Bayinge, Azanga, etc. He returned alone to Kinshasa with the Famille Kikuta-album that he confirmed his succes and re-built his band Big Stars. The album Sala Noki made him be known in whole Africa and getting nominated for the Kora Awards 1998. Treblement de Terre & Guerre de 100 Ans were just consolidating his succes in Africa.



The succes of Sala Noki in the Congolese diaspora made him get contracts to tour in Europe (Paris, Brussels, London, Switserland, Germany, etc.). But there was an artist who wasn't happy with it  (I will not mention his name) and it influenced the French embassyto not give Defao visa's. This made the tour getting cancelled. But the good part is that it made him focus on the African contracts his was getting (Cameroun, Tchad, etc.), back in those days artists like JB Mpiana, Werrason, etc. were getting alot of contracts of Africa-countries, but they didn't care about it and prefered to tour like 7,8, 9 months in Europe. Some months after seeing his visa's getting cancelled for Europe he received a 1-year contract to tour in the USA. He went to tour 1 year long in the USA and Canada and went later to the UK and Switserland with Big Stars disbanding. Then he toured France on his own with session-musicians, went to record Nessy de London and returned to Kenya to get his musicians to tour in East and Southern Africa.



Back in 1998 and before it wasn't easy to get contracts to perform at Olympia, Zenith & Bercy. It started to get easy from the day Koffi Olomide performed there. He had the key and from then French media started to respect African artist more and it became easy for them to get contracts there. If it was easy like today back in those days, then Papa Wemba would have already performed there 1992, 1994, 1995 & 1996 and Zaiko's & Pepe Kalle in the 80s, Ok Jazz, etc. who had huge succes in the Congolese diaspora. Before 1998, it was already a big achievement to have performed at Bataclan, Maison de Mutualite or La Cigale who were then the limit for African artists and those coming from the French West Indies. They were seeing performing at Olympia and Zenith as impossible. Most Congolese artists were in the 90s performing at LSC and Aquaboulevard. When Koffi Olomide announced in 1998 that he would performing at Bercy, people were seeing him as a fool and thinking that he was dreaming. That's why he have alot of respect for Koffi Olomide, Abeti Masikini & Tabu Ley.




The love Reddy Amisi had for Papa Wemba was to big he didn't want to leave Viva La Musica. He could have already left Viva La Musica back in 1992 to form La Nouvelle Generation with Lidjo Kwempa, Luciana Demingongo, etc.but he refused to betray Papa Wemba.


Lol, the Ziggy-album was a succes. It didn't had to do something with atalaku's. Back in those days every body had is own style. The style of atalaku's was only for bands like Zaiko, Wenge Musica, Big Stars and Choc Stars. Papa Wemba and Viva La Musica-members used to mock musicians and bands using atalaku's. The problem about Ziggy was that it didn't match the same succes Prudence had and the exceptions of Ziggy were to big since that the Prudence-album had a very huge succes. But songs like Interet, Verite Kinuani, Libala & Destinee were still a big succes. Another problem was that alot of people weren't liking Reddy Amisi anymore because of the drama of Nsele and people started dying in his concerts which made people claiming that he was sacrificing people for his succes,hence why he recorded the song Ziggy.



I don't believe that he would be miles ahead in his solo career if he selected a crop of atalaku's with innovative animations. Btw in from 1995/96 all atalaku's started to do the same cries (Situtala, Mandundu, Ndombolo, etc.). Reddy's time was already over from 1997 with the succes of Nouvelle Ecriture and people who didn't like him comparing him to Bendoson, Papa Wemba cursing him and seeing him as a traitor, etc. People don't listen to Reddy for animations like Clan Wenge, but they listen to him for the songs like they do with Lutumba Simaro and Franco. People excepted alot from him on Etoile, but they weren't really convinced and people suspecting an artist (i won't mention his name) having done kindoki on him to fail with that album.


Wenge1995 #2 on: April 13, 2019, 19:46

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@mvulusi96

Why can't you mention names? These things happened over twenty years ago lol

As for Defao, he was foolish to try and force that concert of Uganda on Big Stars. If Big Stars hadn't broken up in Switzerland, could they have continued success? After Defao tried to press forward with session musicans for Nessy de London, things slowly fell apart and his career never recovered.


mvulusi96 #3 on: April 13, 2019, 22:24

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I still believe that Defao would have succes he received visa's for the second USA-tour which was meant for 2001-02. The problem of Defao was that he wasn't able to return to the USA. Defao was still angry about those things who happened behind the scenes (an artist trying to kill his career) and he decided to not live in Kinshasa anymore and made Nairobi his hometown and settled the whole band in 1999 before going to the USA with Montana, Kabose and co. After the disbanding of Big Stars and the release of Nessy de London he went back to Nairobi, brought all the bandmembers who stayed in behind in Kinshasa to Nairobi (Bourman Idolo, Mbetenge Domingo, etc.) and went to tour in countries like Uganda, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, etc. waiting meantime for the visa's of the USA to go on tour there again 1 year long and record an new album there. But after waiting for months he wasn't still getting those visa then it became a 1 year, then 2 years, 3 years... with Defao getting alot of problems, getting humilated in the press of those countries, getting jailed, getting broke, etc.






Yeah, it was a big mistake from him to push his musicians to go to Uganda while in DR Congo the war with the RCD-movement, Rwanda & Uganda just getting started with almost everybody in Kinshasa having witnessed those"bakati biso mayi na courant solo-events", when the RCD-rebels tried to overthrow LD Kabila, but LD Kabila being lucky that Angola & Zimbabwe helped him on the last minute. I still hate those RCD-rebels and Rwandan soldiers for doing that. It made my then just born niece getting paralyzed, because of them having cut the electricity of the Inga-dams which made all hospitals, houses, etc. in Kinshasa not having electricity. Alot of people in hospitals died that day.



The musicians of Big Stars were scared that the AFDL-regime would kill them if they would return to Kinshasa or that they would threaten their families or something like that, in the case that they would perform in Uganda, since that LD Kabila wasn't jocking from the day he came on power. But Defao didn't want to hear them,. He tought that his musicians were scared to not return back to the USA and that it was a trick to get them back in Kinshasa. But tried to convince them and coming with the argument that they aren't policitians, so they would kill them or threaten their families in Kinshasa. Defao was also thinking that they were unhappy to not have received cars like the musicians of Wenge BCBG (which was also for a part true) and not being well paid. So this all created misunderstanding and a big tensions between Defao and the musicians of Big Stars which made Defao not talking to them for months and on the end fire them all when they were in Switserland, because of Defao being done with it .
« Last Edit: April 13, 2019, 22:38 by mvulusi96 »