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Topics - Bohemian Rhapsody

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Congolese Music / Afrobeats sounds different with a live band
« on: January 13, 2019, 04:36 »
Ever notice how a live band transform a Afrobeat song? Same with Coupe Decale.

Wizkid actually helds a band for performances. Question, why don't the younger artists record live instead of using samples? Adding a bass guitar can add some "meat" to a track. We can see this with Fally's live version of Tokoss.

DJ Arafat has an amazing drummer. Imagine him on a sebene.

Congolese Music / Non-Congolese guitarists that can play sebene
« on: January 13, 2019, 04:18 »
Ivory Coast.  We have Kouadio Briscard aka "Vieux" Briscard. He's also known as the guy that played with Meiway until 2002. Also played with Loketo for 2 years.

For more...check out his sebenology

From Nigeria. Oliver de Coque (R.I.P.). Apparently, a Congolese guy named Piccolo taught how to play guitar.(

Imitating Luambo Franco

For more...check out his Sebenology. The other Nigerian guitarist that comes close to him Dan Opara and Godwin Kabaka. Check them out.

From Benin. We have Zoundegnon Bernard "Papillon" (RIP). He was guitarist for the colossal band, T.P. Orchestre Poly Rythmo. He also played keyboards and synth. The band plays a vary of Congolese Rumba & Soukous, Afro-Funk, Beninoise Folklore and Afrobeat 8)

You can find more on his sebenology

Pt. 1

Congolese Music / Ethiopian song with a sebene?
« on: January 13, 2019, 03:49 »

Here is a interesting mixture of Calypso and Soukous guitar. It's very rare to hear Ethiopian music with a sebene. Not many know this but a lot of Ethiopians enjoy Congolese music cause of the instrumentation. A lot of Horners actually are fond of Koffi Olomide.

During the 80's, it was difficult for solo artists to branch out due to the big band era (Clan Zaiko, Afrisa, OK Jazz, etc).

However, due to Soukous and Zouk Chirè blowing up, a young Kanda along with virtuoso Diblo (real name -- Yacomba) pops up. There's an interesting story behind Kanda's first LP "Iyole" (1981). Diblo states, it wasn't supposed to be uptempo from the start but start as a rumba. The person who came up with the idea to make it fast was producer, Ouattara Mamouni, owner of Afro Rythmes label (big in the 80s and 90s). Diblo said that Mr. Mamouni cut the slow part because others of the Afro diaspora couldn't understand Lingala and the dancing part (sebene) was really thrills people. The rest is history. However, one should know that neither Kanda nor Aurlus are the first to produce Soukous. Another interesting fact is Fally Ipupa is related to Kanda and sound somewhat, similar.

Mboottte ladies and gentlemen 8). Let's discuss the history of Rumba/Soukous and how it influence the Afro diaspora of today. We'll also discuss the introduction of Ndombolo, Congolese migration of East & West Africa, guitarists who changed the game, etc.

When people hear of Rumba, they identify it with Cuban-Son but Son is just one of the many variants of this interesting genre.

In the 1930's, a French Antillean man by the name of Jean Rèal of Brazzaville and a group of Pointe Noires called Kato were already using the name "Kongo Rumba"( Unfortunately, I could not find any audio

Now, let's dive in. In the 1940's, they were two pioneers such as Paul Kamba and Wendo Kolosoy "Papa. Paul Kamba is depicted as the shaping Modern Congolese Music. In 1942, he discovers a group called "Victoria Brazza". (

 In 1946, a young Wendo who was a self taught mechanic and boxer formed the band "Victoria Bakolo Miziki -- fusing traditional Congolese folklore with tibits of Cuban Son.  From returning from a fight, he joins up with a Greek business who signs him to then Leopoldville (Kinshasa) label-Ngoma. This lead to the recording of the timeless classic "Marie Louise" in 1948.

 Some say, this was the....first recorded song to have a "sebene".  Henri Bowane is credited as guitarist. The song "Marie Louise" is said to rise the dead from the cemetery. Due to Radio Congolia, this was a big hit in West Africa.

This form of Rumba known as "Rumba Sukuma". The other Latin tinctured Rumba is called Rumba Fiesta -- will later go into this.

Note that the name "Victoria"  still to prove democracies on the Nazis, where Brazzaville plays an eminent role: virtual capital of the "Free France", it hosts in 1944 the "African-French Conference" where a speech by the General de Gaulle shyly lays the foundations of emancipation. De Gaulle, aware that he owes everything to the radio, hastens to give considerable resources to the transmitter of Brazzaville, which becomes the most powerful of the continent.

 There was another pioneer that goes by the name of Elenga Zakari aka Jhimmy Le Hawaiean. He hails from Bangui, Central African Republic. He comes to Leopoldville (Kinshasa) in 1946 in where he meets with the Ngoma's label musicians such as Papa Wendo, Henri Bowane, Manuel D'olivera, Paul Mwanga and Adou Elenga. Around this time, singers are accompanied by two guitarists and percussionist. He revamped Congolese music by adding guitar solos into the mix of a complete band including 1 rhythm guitar, 1 solo guitar, 1 double bass, 1 saxophonists, singers and percussionist. He is responsible for training both Tino Barosa and Charles "Dechaud" Mwamba (

Adou Elenga

Maria Tebbo "original" later reprise by Sam Mangwana "Le Pigeon Voyageur"

Paul Mwanga

Paul Mwanga is considered as one of the precursors of Modern Congolese music. He hails from Angola. He updated the traditional Maringa and fused with the Highlife of West Afrca, Polka Pike, etc (

Part 2 will be addressing  the introduction of Grand Kalle & African Jazz, Docteur Nico, Dechaud, etc. Stay tuned!

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