Archive for the ‘African music’ Category

À priori, le sixième album de cet orchestre phare de la musique congolaise/zaïroise. Un orchestre qui a largement renouvelé la rumba en posant les jalons des évolutions vers le n’dombolo.

Zaiko Langa Langa donc, que l’on retrouve ici au Ghana en 1976 pour un disque enregistré à la suite d’une tournée sur place (si l’on en croit les notes de pochettes).

The sixth album of this great congolese band. A band whom has largely participated to the evolution of zairo/congolese music. You can hear them here on a LP recorded in Ghana in 1976 just after a tour in the country.

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The hit song of Just a Bands single Ha-He has been a great success creating a huge following of Makmende fans and mentions on major media channels such as CNN. Their unique sound and creative clips resembling short movies all have a meaning and a show the creative nature of this band as well as their vocal skills.

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Benda Bilili is a film and a documentary. Is it your goal to make this kind of films?

Yes, well initially it was not expected to be a movie. Indeed, we make documentary films, this is our third, and, of course, we worked on in post production to adapt it to the screen.
At the beginning, when we met with the staff “Benda Bilili” in 2004, it was primarily intended to make an album, only a few years later, as we filmed everything, we realized by watching those videos that we had a special material about this group who was emerging and who probably would get so far.

How did you meet the staff of the group “Benda Bilili?

In 2004, we were doing a short film about the urban music of Kinshasa, we were hanging out in the streets of Kinshasa with our cameras, and one night we were attracted by the sound of a group who played in a corner of the city at night. We came across the band, and then we began to meet with them, at that time we realized that they had their own repertoire, and played their own music. The songs that they played weren’t covers because they play the “Satongé” and that’s how at one point we proposed them to record an album

This is your third film about the city of Kinshasa and you are producing another one. Why is this fascination by this city?

It is truly a city for which we had a flash the first time we went there, we witnessed that it was a city of artists. Often one says that there is a musician in every household and this is quite true. We know the area very well and we meet many people who tell us great stories that make us want to continue making films there. It is a city of artists for us.

And why not Lagos, Dakar …
Historically, Kinshasa is the capital of African music which has an enormous influence on the rest of the continent. Ten years of war since 1996 have avoided spreading the word about its artistic productions, except of course in Congo. We know other African cities, but certainly, in Kinshasa, there is something quite exceptional. A kind of incredible energy among artists and also among people who live there. It has nothing to do with West Africa, it is truly special. But Congo also has a central location, and Kinshasa is a city where there are immigrants from different backgrounds. This latter has created a kind of energy that we can hear in music.

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Chengetai was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1982. She has been singing and composing songs since her childhood. Having moved to Johannesburg in 2002, on invitation from records company, Balasonic Records, she did co-produce three albums, both in Shona and English, exploring the diversity of the Southern-African scene, and collaborating with other artists as Selealo Selota, Louis Mhlanga, Samson Mtukudzi and the list goes on… In 2008, she moved to Paris, France, where she is presently living and working, getting busy touring the World with her “Rainbow Music”…

Her music is definitely a “rainbow”, so colourful and rich. She combines perfectly English, French and Shona, but, we as the audience, don’t lose the connection to her. She plays with colours to communicate diverse messages through her songs. For example, her lyrics turn into “yellow” for happiness, “pink” for social injustices, or “blue” for romantic feelings. However, what we liked most is the power of her voice. Sometimes she sounds so sweet, while other times she sounds angry and independent enough to say “no” to the one she loves with conviction.

Generally speaking, she feels really comfortable when performing in different musical styles including r&b, jazz, soul… but sometimes her voice doesn’t sound as good as when she performs soul songs. I might say that in this case the connection is deeper and the songs are pretty captivating.

If you want to discover this young artist go to

http://www.myspace.com/chengetaionmyspacemusic

Don’t hesitate to leave your comments and share your opinions about your favourite music artists!

Peace up!

We had the privilege to encounter the African legend “Alpha Blondy”at FNAC’s show in Paris, and he shared some words with us.

Which definition would you give to your music style?
Reggae, African reggae.

It seems you have demonstrable influences from Bob Marley…
Bob Marley is for me, the greatest reference point when talking about rigor, lyrics and specially work.

Where do you get inspiration from?

God. My brain and heart do not belong to me. I carry them but He is the one who has created me. I wouldn’t be able to say that I get inspiration when I am on the beach or in the country side. It’s God my supreme inspiration

Your new album is coming out this year. Isn’t it?
Yes, it is. We are working on the next album. At the moment, if we decide to keep the name, it will be titled “the bridge”. On this album all the cultures and generations come up together, it is a cross over.


Will this album be in English ?

No. I mean, when I record an album I dear using all my cultural background. My fans will find songs in English, in French and in my African mother tongue. Actually, I try to broaden my music work by employing all these languages.

What do you think of the African sound of today ?

The African music is evolving. When we talk about the “World Music”, we want to distinguish the African music from the western music. This new category shows the importance of the African sound in the music industry. Today, on the studio we use new technology as a way of calibrating the sound for the western radio. There is a music revolution and Africa has not yet pronounced the last word. Africa has a mosaic of sounds from south to north and from east to west. In the years to come, we will have more stars such as Cheb Khaleb or Youssou N’Dour.

What message would you like to send to your supporters on StarAfrica.com ?
I would like to send a message to Barak Obama, my brother. Primarily, because he is the first black American president in the US. I certainly hope that he will abolish the world war, this social crisis.