From: Congo, the Democratic Republic o
Genre: World, African, Soukous
Kanda Bongo Man is the Soukous superstar in the continent of Africa. His music has always been driven by optimism and happiness; it contains melodies that curl through the patterns like vines on a trellis. It’s lilting, rippling, dance groove that seems to smile from every register, with inseparable melody and rhythm. He is without a doubt one of the most famous exponents of music from Congo and, has been at the heart of the Soukous scene since the 80’s. From Iyole (1983) to Swalati (2002) until today, Kanda Bongo Man has shown no signs of slowing down. Here he is again with a new album NON-STOP FEELING from Tabilulu Productions. It is an album with 11 smashing titles, which reflects Kanda Bongo Man's vibrancy during his tours and live shows. He is a true professional and a hard working man in the African music industry, always touring around the world, non-stop spreading optimism and happiness through his music and dance. This time around, the irony is that Kanda Bongo Man, known for his message of happiness and hope, has made political statements in some of his songs. Well, looking at the reality in his home country in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it was inevitable for the artist of his caliber to omit statements regarding wars, violence against women and the economy of predators in Congo.
Make no mistake; he knows how to uplift his fans, no wonder why he is the man, who gave the world Kwasa Kwasa, the infectiously charged Congolese dance style. And, he is credited as being one of the pioneers of modern Soukous, the one who transformed popular Congo music. He not only focused on Sebene or fast guitar solo but also on call & response during his live shows, and with his signature hat, Kanda is recognized as the "Leader of Soukous." Since he transformed the style in Paris, France long before many Soukous musicians came along, he is according to his fans, an icon, the one who brought Soukous to them. One of the Harvard University's publications by Corydon Ireland has Toussaint, a professor emeritus and researcher at McGill University, a pioneer in computational geometry, saying this of Kanda Bongo Man's music, "...it's a dangerous rhythm, it could degenerate into a party."