Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kanda Bongo Man

Kanda Bongo Man is one of the foremost figures in modern African popular music. He formed his first band as a 15-year-old in 1973, together with his two brothers, Soki Vangu and Soki Dianzenza.

The band, Orchestre Bella Mambo (later Bella Bella), toured in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Zaire with their newly created Soukous, a music style that is a cross between Caribbean rumba rhythms and traditional African music.

He is most famous for the structural changes he implemented to soukous music. The previous approach was to sing several verses and have one guitar solo at the end of the song.

Kanda Bongo Man revolutionized soukous by encouraging guitar solos after every verse and even sometimes at the beginning of the song. His form of soukous gave birth to the kwassa kwassa dance rhythm.