Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tabu Ley no longer here

Man I cannot believe this is just happened. Just when we saw what would have been the 62nd birthday of Pepe Kalle, we lose another great singer of Congolese music. That is Tabu Ley. Yep Tabu Ley. He is dead. He was 73 years old. My heart just aches for his family and others who deeply appreciated and loved Tabu Ley. 

Here is one connection between me and Tabu Ley. When my dad lived in Kinshasa, he actually met Tabu Ley in 1987. My dad told me that he was attending a political meeting when he met Tabu Ley. My dad could not believe it and inside he was so shell shocked. He even said hello Mr. Seigner Rochereau. Rochereau responded with a nod. Typical Tabu Ley. kiekiekie. Just too much ego. 

Although I believe Franco is better than Tabu Ley. Tabu Ley had one thing that Franco only wished he had was a beautiful voice. Franco's voice was often shitty and not that great although there were moments where he was fantastic with his solo vocals. That was hardly with Tabu Ley. Rochereau's voice was so poetic and it brought some birds to your belly. It was quite interesting if you ask me. That was the case with his songs like Kaful Malay, Mace, Sarah, Tu as dit que, Muzina, Exil-Ley, Tempelo and others. It made Rochereau a great legend. 

Franco and Tabu Ley were smart to work together. They made one song that stood out to me as a Congolese music listener. That song is Ngungi. That song made something magical occur. Their voices together made a moment that many will never forget. I am so into this song. It is a beauty song that I can never get enough of. 

Tabu Ley will be missed. Tabu Ley you just rest in peace. 


I have a question that has entered my mind. Now as many know here, I am a fanatic of Franco and Pepe Kalle. Pepe Kalle died on November 28, 1998 and ironically just two days later, he would have been 47 years old. He was born today. He was born a Kinshasa boy of I believe about 12 to 15 siblings in his family. It is also believed that Pepe Kalle himself had about 12 children. I know one of them lives in France. Few live in Europe. 

Pepe Kalle was a great singer and he was able to sing and make everyone touched. He touched some few young people that now love his music to death. I am one of them. I am a fanatic of his. I love his music very often. From 1970s up to his death. He always knew how to hit you with a unique song. He sang with Nyboma, Papy Tex, Papa Wemba, Dilu Dilumona, Soki Vangu, and others. It is just unique for me. I really love his music and remain a major fan of his for a long time. 

But let's get into what I am going to ask. One person claims he is more like Pepe Kalle than anyone else. Guess who? If you think Biya Chante, you are right. He may have a point. Well not long ago, he declared to the whole Congolese music lover community that every time you see him, you see Pepe Kalle. Now some people were happy he made that statement but others said he crossed the line. 

Here is my opinion on this. While I agree that Biya Chante is not a superstar like Pepe but here is Biya has a great point. Listen, Pepe Kalle and Biya Chante sound so similiar. In fact, there were moments I thought that was Pepe when it was actually Biya Chante himself. Of course Dilu Dilumona and Pepe Kalle sound similiar but it is much easier to see the difference. Dilu is too monolithic in my opinion and kind of boring. In addition, Pepe Kalle hired Biya Chante for a reason because Biya sounded much more like him than Dilu ever did in his life. Furthermore, Biya Chante in a sense was a better singer than Pepe in the sense where his voice was much soulful than Pepe himself.

Pepe Kalle was a more smooth singer. His voice always had a tendency to smooth. So even if someone sounded like him, they could sing with him since Pepe was very smooth. Look at instance Defao. Many argue that Defao and Pepe Kalle sound too much alike. However, Defao has much more force in his voice. As result, Defao and Pepe Kalle could sing together in a choir. Song I am referring is to Luciyana. 

But Biya Chante was a more soul singer. His voice was deep and very sexy. I mean I have never seen a Congolese singer have so much of a soulful voice. I mean Biya Chante voice is so deep that you wonder why he is singing and is giving his voice. I mean when Biya Chante does Pepe Kalle songs, he can make it his own. That speaks volume on Biya's voice itself. It is just too great. 

Yes Biya Chante does equal Pepe Kalle when it pertains to voice. 

Here is the video of my reference of my opinion post on here what would have been Pepe Kalle's 62nd birthday. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Likinga Redo no more

Man I could not see this coming even with a old artist like this man. This man has had problems in the past and he had great troubles prior to his unfortunate death. 

Well I am speaking about the death and unpextated one from Likinga Redo. He was 59 years old when he died. He died on August 8, 2013. This death stunned and I just could not believe it. I found this out from former Zaiko Langa Langa singer Adamo Ekula

Well let me speak on this great Artist Mr. Likinga Redo. I know that this man began his music career with Empire Bakuba led by Pepe Kalle (who is no longer here). Likinga would appear in songs like Calvaire, and Montesse. Then in 1976, he officially became a memeber of Zaiko Langa Langa. This time he sang with Nyoka Longo, Lenga Lenga (Ya Lengos), and Bimi Ombale. They made some great songs and being able to produce some dynamic dances. Likinga Redo produced one song that was popular for him. That song is Viya. This song got Likinga Redo in a unique place. He was beginning to develop his own identity. Zaiko was starting to become a important band alongside Empire Bakuba de Pepe Kalle. 

Likinga Redo was said to a drug habit and clearly some one was not happy about it. After he releasd his other song Antalia, he got caught with drugs in Portugal in 1983. This led to his arrest and as result he was in jail for five years. 

Likinga Redo got a tribute song while he was in jail. That was his old friend Pepe Kalle. He made the tribute Souci ya Likinga. This song became pretty popular around the Kinshasa scene in 1986. 

Redo got out of jail in 1988 to join Zaiko Familia Dei de Pablo. But he did last there long. Then Likinga Redo had really became a session singer releasing a few albums. But Likinga Redo was not the same and despite making great music, people seemed to have enough of Likinga and he had became a shadow of himself. 

Then in 2002, he worked with former Empire Bakuba mate Papy Tex on their work together called Mon Bebe. This would be Likinga's last music before he went fully into Christian music. That could be seen with Soeur Lumumba around the 2006 period. After that, Redo had privately lived his life. 

It was said that Likinga Redo had suffered dementia-disease for five months before his unfortunate death. Strange for me, because Likinga had indicated some time ago, he was ready to get his life back on his own Facebook. Of course, Likinga died on August 8, 2013. 

It is ashame that he is gone and I will forever miss him. His music will live on.

Rest in peace Vieux Likinga Redo

Friday, August 9, 2013


I am so happy to back. Last month was so complicated with so much going on. I had issues going on with my family. In addition, many issues surrounding with me as well as I am entering a awkward phases of becoming an adult. I am entering my second year as a college student. I am confident that I will do. I had a lot of things to get done to get college started soon. 

Anyway enough of my rambling shits, let's get started on what I have been enjoying a lot. The music of the Congolese born and Tanzania musical legend REMMY ONGALA. Yes this Remmy Ongala. Remmy Ongala a great musician who spoke for the most unpriviligized people in the world.

I don't have a great biography on him and I don't know everything but I know enough to know he was a person with a great heart. 

He was born in 1947 from Kivu, DRC Congo. He grew up with any parental guidance. He was 7 years old when his parents had passed away. Remmy struggled to be able to maintain his own living. So he ended up playing for local bands around the area Kisangani. That is also where he started learning guitar as well. He was so inspired by the music of Franco. That is the main reason he wanted to play guitar (or that what he likely stated in a 1989 interview). Then he joined the band led by Asso Tshimanga named Orchestre Makassy which was a East African Rumba band that mostly sang in Lingala. They were located in Tanzania. He started to learn how to deal with music and things of that nature. He was also was alongside with great genius Mose Sengo alias Mose Fan Fan. But when the band decided to relocate to Kenya, Remmy remained in Tanzania to make a new band. That band would called Orchestre Super Matmilia. This band would the band Remmy Ongala would use for his upcoming stardom. 

That all started in 1983 when he released some songs which included Mnyonge Hana Haki, Pesa, and Kipenda Roho. These songs gave important boost towards the career of Remmy Ongala. He was going in the right direction with his ability to relate the not so privileged people and poor people. As result of this, some people called "DOCTOR" because he was able to help heal poor and not so privileged people. 

Remmy Ongala would begin to grow his base and he began to make love songs but make very conscious songs. The later songs were part of Remmy's movement in which he nicknamed BONGO BEAT. He started this movement on his 1988 acclaimed LP "On Stage with Remmy Ongala". This Lp has been considered by some as Remmy's best music ever his whole life. For good reason, there are some songs including one I really like. They include Sauti ya Mnyonge, Kifo, Asili ya Muziki, and Narudi ya Nyumbani. Those songs sent Remmy on another level with his star. Really some people would began to enjoy the music of Remmy. I think around this time, he had officially became a Tanzania citizen. But thanks to the success of Remmy, some people were knocking doors (well Western companies). As result in 1990, Remmy released his remixed songs which had Sauti ya Mnyonge, Kifo, Carola, and others which had some even more popularity and this time Womad label got Remmy in their label. 

Now we enter the 1992 up to the 1996 period. He released Mambo in 1992 which helps create the global star of Remmy Ongala. However some Tanzanians start not to like him because he was now getting liked by some westerners. However, Remmy had liked of songs like Niseme Nini, rendition of Narudi Nyumbani, and No Money No Life. People enjoyed those songs a lot. Remmy Ongala now was creating a bigger legend and more people wanted a piece of Remmy Ongala. Then in 1995, Remmy Ongala released the popular work "THE KERSHAW SESSIONS" which it contains songs like Bongo Beat, Libala, Penzi Lauwa, and Kilio Cha Samaki. In this work, he actually a little more Lingala than he would do in general. 

Now that Remmy Ongala had become a great legend, Remmy decided to do a film called BONGO BEAT. This was done in 1996. It was a huge success in which got into the mind and the life of Remmy Ongala and how it was like for him to go from a common poor man to a successful musical legend. 

After that, Remmy Ongala had finally been able to enjoy his success and he was able to now know that he became a big legend. His legend even led Tanzania to be able to have county named after him. 

But Remmy's life took a bad turn in 2001 when he got partially paralyzed which led to him becoming somewhat sick. By 2006, he officially became a Christian and even became a preacher. But when he got sicker, he fully sang for God. He got honored around 2009 with a reward for having the desire to help the poor. It was said that Remmy said that he is a Christian but he wants to really help the poor and don't care about money that but seeing others get well. He died in December 13, 2010 in Tanzania. 

Now some people why Remmy Ongala died. I could be wrong but I do not think I will be. Here is my theory on Remmy's later life. 

One thing from Bongo Beat, it was known that Remmy Ongala was a lover of Beer mainly and clearly some people disliked. It is also has something to do with Remmy's disdain for westerners. Though Remmy had worked with the British led label (western label) WOMAD and married a white woman named Toni, Remmy did not exactly cared for the Westerners which also explains Remmy had still lived in Tanzania as opposed to Great Britian. See many African artists would move to Europe or USA to try to make great money and avoid political hell that came being with a African artist. But Remmy did not get that memo or cared much about that. In addition, one song may have led to Remmy's death. That song was Kilio Cha Samaki on the film "BONGO BEAT" in which he blames religion (well two main religions). He points the fingers at Europeans and Arabic people for oppressing. Remmy claimed that Africans were too nice to those people for too long and allowed them to oppress not only with force but with religion as well. He condemned Christianity and Muslim religion because he says Europeans and Arabics were using as tools to distract Africans and harm them as well. Some say that was the mentally of Patrice Lumumba. More importantly after 1996, Remmy was not really seen anymore. He became sick and converted to Christianity. 

This is likely the same theory with his idol Franco who is known as Grand Maitre. Franco was also not so westerner loving fan ever. In fact Franco reportedly thought James Brown was a total piece of shit. Franco also did similar things by speaking of uniting Congo and have the line "Congo aux Congolais". This angered some westerners and as result,  to some poeple they say that these folks decided to poison Franco with some accomplices especially associated with sorcery which is related to witchcraft. Franco also said the Westerner artists are chicken pots and were so narrow minded. In fact Franco went Muslim to anger westerners which he named himself ABOUBACAR SIDDIKH for a political statement which may also to a poison. Franco's refusal to really fit the Western market and not live in Europe may have led to Franco's demise. More importantly, he only started living in Belgium when he was frail and sick. 

Regardless, Franco and Remmy Ongala were great musicians and I will forever love their music and for what they did to try to advance AFRICA. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


I am so sorry to the blog followers for a six month absence that I have had. This is so unusual for me to do. But now I have to explain situations that led to this.

College work
Family issues
Family conflict
Trying to work during the summer
Social issues (nothing new)
Addiction to the reality show MOB WIVES
Addiction to the reality show HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY
Closing of Vibes D'Afrique (SO SAD)
Addiction to Facebook
Resolve issues of mine

These are the basic reasons that I have not been able to really write a post that has some connections. I have been in a hard emotional state of life. Too much shit going on. Well it is summer time, I am happy that I can be my normal self for once.

But I will only do 4 posts since I may take some long ass job soon. But they will be good. After August, I may have to take a 1-4 month break from blogging as college work will become more demanding in the near future.

PS, I will be back for now. I am so happy now to be back here for some time.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


We have a great album or LP from two legendary musicians that have ever came in Congo and the whole great Africa. Well I am speaking of two singers who once grace the time. I am talking about Mr. Madilu Bialu System "Grand Ninja" and Mr. Nyboma Canta "Canto". These two singers are in my opinion one of the greatest singers in their generation.

The interesting about these two men are that they were part of the new wave of Congolese. It was that it began with former OK Jazz saxophonist and former Veve leader Verckys. He began getting some youth talent around the Kinshasa music scene. This new wave would eventually include people like Nyboma, Madilu, Nzaya Nzayadio, Nyoka Longo, Evoloko, Bozi Boziana, Papa Wemba, Pepe Kalle, and some others.

However during the 1970s, Nyboma had a lot of success and Madilu at the other end was just another name. Nyboma was in bands like Bella Bella, Lipua Lipua, and Les Kamale just making gold. Madilu had a good band in Bakuba Mayopi but that went nowhere and then tried a failed band Pamba Pamba with Bella Bella's own Soki Vangu. Nyboma managed to make great songs like Andoya, Mbuta, and others to think of. Madilu at the other end had one memorable song called Pamba Pamba and that was about it.

But in the 1980s in my opinion, Madilu had more fame than Nyboma. According to some music historians, Nyboma had began to be lost with going to West Africa with the band African All Stars. Nyboma tried to remake Les Kamale but that was so shortlived. Nyboma only got a revival in my view in his career when he joined 4 Etoiles with Syran Mbenza, Bopol and former OK Jazz singer Wuta Mayi. Madilu would find his own star when he sang the song NON with Grand Maitre Franco in 1983. From there, Madilu became the front man of OK Jazz. He made impact on songs like Pesa Position, Mamou, Mario, and Boma Ngai, Ngai na Boma Yo To Bomana. In addition, Madilu introduced a dance which in my view should never came in the first place. That was the dance Mayeno. This dance was first heard of Boma Ngai, Ngai na Boma Yo To Bomana which happened to have Franco on it and I don't think this dance suited Franco well. This dance eventually consumed OK Jazz and even Franco got himself into this dance as well. This dance became pretty official after Franco died in 1989.

Now all the history and opinion of mine cross into this great LP. This Lp that I am into is called Stop Feu Rouge. This LP is a absolute masterpiece of course with the dance Mayeno which apparently became very popular, no longer just in OK Jazz but almost everyone felt this dance. But the song it begins with is the song Stop Feu Rouge which I notice the best Afrisa singer Pompon Kuleta. His voice was felt as well as Nyboma, and Aime Kiwakana. I mean the song just gets you to the beat especially Nyboma and Madilu voices consume you. Then comes the song Magali which I love because Madilu just commands that song. It is a great rumba song with some important passion. I love it very much and I think others should hear this beautiful song. We deal with Keva which belongs to Nyboma because he once again, his soft and important voice in this song and with Dally Kimoko playing his guitar, we got something unique. In my opinion, the best song of this LP is KEVA.

However the song that was partially responsible for the legend of Madilu was the song Voison. Why this song as oppose to Magali. Well it is because this song has Madilu commanding the song and the dance Mayeno. Actually this song, my parents love to death. This song just brings you joy with the voice of Madilu because he is able to maintain his great vocals but also be serious. Of course, we have a little entertainment of Odette. That is so funny to me. I like this song too but not like my parents. TRUST ME. This song is the one I would definitely recommend to more older people like my parents.

This was the first time that actually Nyboma and Madilu though they have been close friends for some time. But after this masterpiece LP, on almost every Madilu work, Nyboma was involved. In one Kekele Cd with Nyboma, there was a song with Madilu. I argue that if this LP never occurred, I doubt Nyboma and Madilu would ever sang together. Just my opinion.

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