Thursday, August 23, 2012

Golden 1970s focus: NYBOMA

The person that was very important during the 1970s was no other than the man who was a great backip singer. That man that I am speaking of Nyboma. Why him?

Well because Nyboma was the man that was able to make a great impact during this golden 1970s era. He was someone who knew how to sing so well. I mean Nyboma was very flawless when I hear him singing. He also was able to provide some great lead vocals and he knew how to be Nyboma.

When I hear songs like Abissina, Mbuta, Lusumba, Massele, Sofele, and others, what I see from Nyboma is the great singing. He can sing with anyone and he can turn it into gold. Also those songs were gold because a lot of Zairians knew those songs and they would enjoy those songs so much. Nyboma got lots of attention and he was becoming a important star.

I would say that Nyboma was able to make a great impact on three bands that he was part of whether it was Bella Bella, Lipua Lipua or Les Kamale. He was able to make some great impact and he was able to make great music and he was able to make some important songs.

That is why I call Nyboma a important focus during the golden 1970s era.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Why did I made those two posts today. Well it is because I decided to prepare for a song that I really like from Pepe Kalle. Plus I was wanting to show you from a diehard fan of Pepe Kalle. I have long said that I am a fanatic but not a diehard fan of Franco and Pepe Kalle.

Now I am about to focus on one song that I had long enjoyed and I have also been able to find value in hearing this great song. This song is something that I can have so much fun and I feel that this song was the birth of soon Giantafrique Pepe Kalle. The song that I am speaking about the song called Nazoki.

This song is about some difficult kind of life and Pepe speaks about challanges about how he is a man and as a lover for someone. Pepe Kalle emotionally sings in the beginning that he has some tough times but his intentions are to be able to be a normal man. Pepe Kalle here shined very in the song and oddly enough, he sounded very much like Tabu Ley. Pepe Kalle shined in this song and it showed a soon to be superstar made. Pepe Kalle even then had something special. It is so unique.

I just hope more people can find this song and if fo they can be able to enjoy the song. Pepe Kalle was in his A game when he released this great record.

Proof: There is a bigger Pepe Kalle fan than me

I have always said that I am not a diehard Pepe Kalle fan as some people seemed to believe. I always said that I am a fanatic of Franco and Pepe Kalle. I like Franco and Pepe Kalle very equally. Both of them are great musicians that I have ever heard in my life. I call Franco and Pepe Kalle the kings of Congolese Music.

I am so happy that someone has finally come and say something about Pepe Kalle and how they are a bigger fan of Pepe Kalle.

I was so touched by the man's story that I had to share it on a post. His name is Nounou.

Here is the person who is a bigger Pepe Kalle fan than me.

Up until now, I was convinced that I was the only true and biggest Pepe Kalle and his Empire's fan on the planet, but when I found your blog, my belief was shaken to it's very foundations!!! I like Franco too, and have tens of his songs, but for me Pepe Kalle is Numero Uno!!!

I am very impressed at your dedication and the amount of time and resources you put in making Pepe Kalle's name be known and not just fade away. You have also a lot of interesting knowledge about Congolese music in general (although some of your ideas about church and faith are rather... "interesting" :-)

Well, I also have a story I want to share about Pepe Kalle.
I am very sad that I never had the opportunity to see him when he was alive, but he sure was a great musician, and he had a very deep impact on me in my younger days. I'll get back to that soon enough.
In today's Congo music, you can't almost tell who is who. The songs are so alike, maybe because of lack of creativity, but in my younger days, when you heard a song, you could instantly tell what band it was, and Pepe Kalle was so creative, so original that his songs never sounded like any other!

It was around 1990 in Goma, eastern Congo (Zaire at that time). I was around 12, and my mom sent me to the market to buy tomatoes to put in some chicken she was roasting. The market was not so far, just 10-15 minutes I guess.
Before I got to the market, I passed by a music shop in a corner, and they had these huge loud speakers outside by the door, and there was a song playing. The song was very rhythmic and up-tempo, the bass was groovy, and the solo guitar was like nothing I had heard before.
Then the song ended in the most strange way! Usually when a song ends, it just fades out, but this song didn't. Rather, all the instruments stopped playing, and only the lead singer went on calling up, and the choir would answer Ekoki... Ekoki...Ekoki (that's enough, that's it)!
This song made such an on me in a way I can't describe. It was just like falling in love at first sight, if you've ever experienced that.
I completely forgot what I was doing there, and what my mom had sent me to buy. I spent quite a time there, trying to remember, but the only thing that would come to my mind was this song. Eventually I went back home empy handed, and mom got so angry...
I was just a kid, so I didn't even think of getting in the shop to ask what song that was. I just walked back home, but the solo (or sebene) of that song and its ending never left my head, and from that day on, I started making toy guitars just so I could play that solo.

Only in 1996 did I hear that song again. By this time I was in Uvira, south Kivu region, if you know, and I was walking on the street, and I heard it coming from a plot nearby. The melody was so deep in my brain that I recognized it at once! I stopped, and went to the house, knocked politely, and said, sorry, but can you please tell me what cassette you are playing?
That day I learned that the song was a Pepe Kalle composition called "Ndako Ya Zeke", the last song on the Pon Moun Paka Bouge album (Actually, the album's real title is "Giant Afrique The Bombe Atomique").
I was so happy to discover the song, and from that day on I became a hardcore Pepe Kalle fan, and started collecting his albums. Today I have over 21 of them, that is around 150 songs, and I never get tired of listening to any one of them! I have introduced my 3yrs daughter to this music also, so she can take good care of those albums, once I'm not here anymore.

Also the love of that music made me pick up the guitar. Today I can play most of Kinanga Boeing 737 solos, and although I rather embraced rock and blues guitar style in a band setting, I still play Empire Bakuba in my spare time, and every single day I thank Pepe Kalle and his Empire Bakuba for inspiring me to pick up guitar, and having such a deep impact on me.

I wish I could find some other people who are interested in this music, so we can start a tribute band or something, but that seems unlikely.


Let me give a great picture from PEPE KALLE

Let me show you the photo from PEPE KALLE and his great band Empire Bakuba.

The photo comes from BLAISE MATADIDI.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

connection between Madilu and Soki Vangu

This post is in the 5th year anniversary death of Madilu special.

I remember back in time when I was listening to Bella Bella, I always thought the original singer was Madilu System. My dad told me that the singer that was singing was Soki Vangu. I felt that early in his career that Madilu System was the younger version of Soki Vangu.

Turns out that I was right somewhat but it is just more that Madilu and Soki Vangu sounded alike. They actually did some musical things together. What turns out that after Madily had lost his luck with his own band Bakuba Mayopi, he and Soki Vangu met up decided to form a band together. That band was called Pamba Pamba. This band was formed in 1976. This band did have some promise because after all, Soki Vangu was a big name at the time and Madilu was a on slow rise as his own too. These two men thought becoming a force together would help them both become a major force in the Congolese music scene. But it turned out that this was a failed project. Despite some success, it did not help them continue and this activity only lasted a year or so.

But after this, fates were affected. Madilu was join Tabu Ley before he joined OK Jazz where he would become one of the big singers of Franco during the mid and late 1980s. Madilu would have a great solo career for 18 years. Soki Vangu had a different ending as he eventually lost his Bella Bella band and he would only live 13 more years after this band Pamba Pamba did not exist. Soki Vangu was only 42 years old when he died. Either way, this is a interesting thing that both of them actually worked together. Also they are both gone. RIP to both of them.


Let's stop and remember MADILU SYSTEM

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Early 1980s Edition: Kinshasa Mboka Ya Makambo

I am somewhat mad that I have not been posting about Franco lately. I guess I have been listening to hear other music lately. Damn, that really that can be so freakin messed up.

Enough of my rant. I want to focus on one Franco song that may not have everyone's attention but I feel this song can be relatable to today's problem in BANA KIN. The song that I am speaking about is Franco's song "Kinshasa Mboka Ya Makambo". It can be translated to Kinshasa, Town of Problems or Kinshasa, Country of Problems. Not sure. You can make that judgement. Anyway this song was about often the bullshit of Kinshasa with all type of rumors and worse, the rumors are often to be so BELIEVABLE. What a great shame. Franco was crying (I mean WHINING) about the fact that Congolese people are easy into blaming, making lies about others, and slandering others far too easily. Sadly that is true with Congolese and no wonder many Africans love to make fun of Congolese people. As a Congolese American, I even fall into this nonsense. Franco was asking Congolese people why do we like to fight, why we do bullshit to each other, and why we do stupidity on eachother.

Now here is one of the twist of this song: ACTUALLY it also relates to Grand Maitre Franco. The song is also known as Ndunda which means Vegetable or many say would be Grass. But the song "Ndunda" or "Kinshasa Mboka Ya Makambo" is actually a remake of the song "Mobali Na Ngai Azali Etudiant Na M'Poto". Why did Franco remade that song. Well it turns out many people were accusing Franco of smuggling weed to Europe (POTO). Also one person who acutually almost made it believable was Tabu Ley. Now this does not surprise. I don't blame Tabu Ley considering that Franco was always a better musician and band leader than Tabu Ley could have ever had. Tabu Ley is the only thing he had was great singing which Franco often lacked.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Now let me get going with another song from Bella Bella. This song is no like other songs that I have heard from this band. This band can be somewhat a great old legend band that came on this earth.

Bella Bella made a great song that stands out. The song that I am talking is the song called Zamba Zamba. This song is something that I have always found some value in hearing. Soki Vangu is someone who knew how to make some great masterpieces. This song is one of them. After all, he composed this great song.

This song has some excellent singing. Zamba Zamba means Bush Bush. Soki Vangu is singing about being part of a bush and how a bush can bring some refreshment to this society. Later on, Soki Vangu sings the known music genre MAKOSSA. What is Makossa if you wonder. Well it is a genre that was created by former African Jazz saxophonist Manu Dibango. Soki Vangu really loved that genre quite a bit. The great sebene and great bass playing by Shaba Kahamba made this song so unique.

I would argue that this actually Bella Bella's best song that we have seen for a long time. This is the record that made Soki Vangu, SOKI VANGU.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Hello my people. I am ready to make another review of a classic song that I knew and had enjoyed for sometime since being a kid. I mean this song really brought something worth hearing. Also this song is something that no one can ever do like this man.

I am focusing on Nyboma. Yep, Vieux Nyboma. The man who sang so many songs that some people know. During the mid 1970s period, Nyboma made some great songs like Mombassa, Niki Bue and others. But the song that also made Nyboma so unique was the song AMBA. This song proves the importance of Nyboma. He sings this song so perfectly. I mean this song also proves the greatness of Nyboma. Nyboma would shine and he would sing in a angelic matter that I cannot get. Other singers only add that smoothness in the song. We also have the great gutiars of Tonton Ricos and Vata Mombasa. Great song all around.

What this song showed was the greatness of Nyboma that was coming today. Nyboma was someone who knew how to sing in any time and be gold. This song proved that. Nyboma redid this song with Pepe Kalle and still Nyboma proved that he was so perfect.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mouvement ya Kin

There was a known song from Bella Bella. This song was no like other songs that came out in the 1970s era. This song was something that some Kinshasa folks want to sing in their own ways whether it is rap or even mantaining soukous music. People think of this name because it is something unique.

I am speaking of the name KIN. Well KIN is short of the great place in Democratic Republic of Congo. That place is called Kinshasa. Kinshasa is always chanted by lots of Congolese people who love and enjoy Kinshasa. My dad lived in Kinshasa for some time. Kinshasa brings a major blessing to the world.

The song that was chanted that I am presenting is the song done by Bella Bella. Their song is called Mouvement ya Kin. It means that it Kin Movement. It is a song where Soki brothers (Soki Diazenza & Soki Vangu) sing about the movement of the Kin people to have people understand the uniquessness of Bana Kin. It really seem that they were passion from the soki brothers as they kept singing. I mean I found it so unique.

Mouvement ya Kin is a song where you see some great importance and some great movement of singing. I enjoy this song qutie a bit.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Petite Zizina

Now I am looking at a song that is a classic song but it comes at a time when the band is about to end. Also a band that is on a dying state and its making its last effort to least end in a good note.

That is the case with the great band Bella Bella. Bella Bella was at a state where they were basically falling apart. This was also the period that there was one personnel. That was Soki Vangu. Soki Diazenza was hiding in Kinshasa when this band was going in the dumps. This period was in 1980-1981 period. This was when many bands were going down. Bella Bella was one of them. So as result, Soki Vangu decided to make a song that sort make that clear but provide hope for one reason. That was his daugter Zizina. He made a song called Petite Zizina.

This song here Soki Vangu sings about that Zizina needs to carry the torch. Soki is convincely saying that he is dying and he is no longer important. I althoguh I feel that Soki was always important but I understood Soki. Soki Vangu was seeing his band crumpling as many of them joined major bands espcially Afrisa International de Tabu Ley. Soki Vangu was saying that he was never going to be able to be what he once was. Sadly he was right. After this song, Soki Vangu lost Bella Bella and only a decade later, he died. But Soki Vangu still managed to be great in this song and Soki Vangu was grateful for life he had.

Soki Vangu was someone who was able to show though he felt something and he wanted to make it clear. Soki Vangu felt that he was going down but he felt that he had a great life and he wanted his daughter to have a better life.

Lemba Lemba

I have done some listening to some Lipua Lipua. I made a good biography about them (Lipua Lipua biography). I did hear one song that I do really apperciate from Lipua Lipua. I hope that more will able to hear this classic material that I am about speak about now.

I am speaking about the song Lemba Lemba. This song is a major genius. I really enjoy this great song. I mean the rhythm guitar of Vata Mombasa already makes the song great. Then you got the backup singers. They really sing this song well and their heart into this great song. Then you got a banging sebene with the great guitar of Santana Mongoley. That only enhances the greatness of the song. Then you got the trumpets and saxophones which only make the song so unique. Nzaya Nzayadio makes the song so legendary with his agressive voice. I mean Nzaya Nzayadio was and is a unique singer. I cannot get enough of it.

What I see in this song is Nzaya Nzayadio shining as well as Lipua Lipua as a whole making something dynamic and it has some important melodies that are great. I really enjoy this song a lot. I want others to hear it too.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mid 1960s to Early 1980s

I am going to announce to all the blog followers of this great blog of mine. I am grateful for the support I have recieved. I am sorry about last month as I made a few posts. I am so sorry. I have been busy with many other things. Now I will try to write more this month. Soon I will have to cut down on posts as I go to college around late August.

I am annoucing to you guys that I am going to take a period of Zaire Music in some times in a deeper manner. Much deeper manner. The periods I am going to look at are the times from Mid 1960s up to the Early 1980s. I am also going to give some deep look at Veve Label. I will make the case why Veve Label was a good thing for congolese music.

I will put with bands like Bella Bella, Empire Bakuba, Lipua Lipua, OK Jazz, and others to look at.

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Franco vs Pepe Kalle: WAR BEGINS

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