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. 

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