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Papa Wemba

Biography

Along with his dynamic vocals and flamboyant personality, Papa Wemba (delivered Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba) performed an important role within the evolution of Central African music. Respectfully referred to as “the Ruler of Rhumba,” Wemba effectively fused African customs with Traditional western pop and rock and roll affects. A co-founder of Zaiko Langa Langa in 1970, he continued to international interest as the head of Isife Lokole in 1974 and Viva la Musica after 1976. Delivered within the Kinshasa area of that which was then your Belgian Congo and today the Democratic Republic from the Congo, Wemba was trained that he was descended from an extended type of BaTetela warrior chieftains. His mom, a specialist mourner who sang at funeral wakes, acquired a profound impact on his performing. He recalled inside a past due-’90s interview, “If mom was still alive, I’d be abundant with words and abundant with melodies. She was my 1st instructor and my 1st target audience.” Wemba didn’t start singing until becoming a member of the choir of the Roman Catholic Chapel after the loss of life of his dad, a main of traditions, in 1966. The knowledge sharpened his capabilities to sing in small keys. Assisting to type Zaiko Langa Langa in 1969, Wemba continued to be using the group for four years. Throughout that period, the group proceeded to go from playing American R&B to concentrating on traditional Central African dance music. Their strikes included many Wemba-penned tunes, such as for example “Pauline,” “C’est la Vérité,” “Chouchouna,” and “Liwa Ya Somo.” Departing Zaiko Langa Langa in 1974, Wemba created the first rings of his personal, Isife Lokole and Yoka Lokole. Both organizations utilized the lokole, a hollow tree trunk used two sticks, like a rhythmic basis. Moving towards the town of Molokai in the heart of Kinshasa’s Matonge area in 1977, Wemba created his most effective group, Viva la Musica. Their music continuing to reveal an authenticity marketing campaign launched by Chief executive Mobutu. Wemba made an appearance regularly on state-sponsored tv, discussing the impact of traditional music and the significance from the authenticity marketing campaign. Right from the start, Viva la Musica’s status was built just as much on their enthusiasm for designer clothing as their music. Followers inspired from the band’s design of gown began dressing likewise and were referred to as “La Sape,” extracted from the manifestation, “La Société des Ambienceus et Ces Personnes d’Élégance.” Viva la Musica had been extremely popular one of the Congo’s youngsters. Their initial year climaxed using the Kinshasa paper Elima naming the music group greatest orchestra, Wemba greatest vocalist, and their one, “Mère Supérieure,” greatest song. On the next 3 years, the group continuing to record strike singles, including “Moku Nyon Nyon,” “Nyekesse Migue’l,” and “Cou Cou Dindon.” With the past due ’70s, determined to fully capture a Western pursuing, Wemba and Viva la Musica vocalist Rigo Superstar had taken a six-month sabbatical in the music group in 1979 to become listed on Tabu Ley Rochereau’s group, Afrisa International. Relocating to Paris in the first ’80s, Wemba produced a second edition of Viva la Musica. While this group had taken a far more Westernized strategy, the original music group continuing to execute indigenous-based music. Wemba described, “My primary group will there be for me personally Zairian supporters who come to listen to typical African noises however when I made a decision to be a vocalist with a global name, I produced another group to charm to a new community.” Wemba made an appearance within the past due-’80s musical revue Africa Oye!, and toured because the starting action for Peter Gabriel’s Top secret Globe tour in 1993. He received a greatest artist Kora Prize at the initial All Africa Music Honours ceremony 3 years afterwards. Wemba continuing to fuse the musical customs of his homeland and Traditional western pop. His 1995 record, Emotion, was made by Stephen Hague of Family pet Shop Guys, Erasure, and New Purchase fame. He continuing to record and perform frequently, although a short prison stay static in the first 2000s (he was imprisoned for his suspected participation in a band smuggling immigrants into European countries) affected both his perspective as well as the theme of his recordings, including Somo Trop from 2003. Wemba passed away in 2016 at age 66, after becoming stricken while on-stage in Ivory Coastline.

Quick Facts


Full Name Papa Wemba
Died April 24, 2016, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Profession Actor, Singer, Film Score Composer
Nationality Congolese
Spouse Mama-Marie Lozolo Amazone
Music Groups Viva La Musica, Zaiko Langa Langa, Le Quatro De Langa Langa
Music Songs Yolele, Maria Valencia, Show Me the Way, Sala Keba, Kaokokokorobo, Saï Saï, Mwasi, Rail On, Ye te oh, Chacun pour soi, Esclave, Bakala Dia Kuba, No Comment Eva, Blessure, Bakwetu, Fula-Ngenge, Kaporal, Le voyageur, Poule de la mort, Maman, M'Fono Yami, Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa, Epelo, Wake Up, Dixieme Commandement, Six millions ya ba soucis, Araignée, Analengo, Abu-Pia, Matebu, Somo Trop, Bokulaka
Albums Kuru Yaka, Maître d'école, Notre père Rumba, Nouvelle Ecriture, Emotion, Bazonkion, Somo trop (Trop somo), M'zee fula ngenge, Ya Biso Moko, Foridoles, De génération en génération, Nkunzi Lele, Au Japon, Nouvelle Ecriture Dans L', Kaka Yo, Le Voyageur, Dans l', Bakala Dia Kuba, Mwana Molokai - The First Twenty Years, Mayi ya pembe (Liso ya mokonzi), Le Zénith de Papa Wemba, vol. 1 (Live 1999), Mwana Matebu, 16e Arrondissement, Mokili Pitié, Molokai (Real World Gold), Wake Up, Pôle position, Le zenith de Papa Wemba, vol. 1 (live) [Esprit de fêtes, nouvelle écriture], Le Zenith de Papa Wemba, vol. 2 (Live) [Esprit de fêtes, nouvelle écriture], Zea, Merci papa, Statue de la Liberte, Forever de génération en génération, Trait d'union (Chaque jour est une vie) - EP, Cantos Essentials: Best of Papa Wemba, Ndako Ya Ndele, La guerre des stars (feat. Lita Bembo, Bozy Boziana, D'jenga-K Esperant), Viva La Musica de Papa Wemba avec Stino L'as de la Chorale - EP, Ainsi soit-il (The complete Papa Wemba - Sonodisc), Best of Papa Wemba, New Morning, Mingelina B52 - EP
Movies Kinshasa Kids, Identity Pieces, Macadam Tribu, Life Is Beautiful, Wild Games


  • Facts
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#Fact
1 He was also a fashion and style icon.
2 He was a Congolese musician whose blend of African, Cuban and Western influences became one of Africa's most popular music styles. He helped modernize Congolese rumba music, contributing to a new genre, soukous, which has influenced music across Africa. With his bands Zaiko Langa Langa, Isifi and Viva La Musica, he had several hits, including "L'Esclave" and "Le Voyageur".
3 His father wanted him to be a journalist or lawyer. After developing his trademark high-range voice in religious choirs, he made his debut in the Congolese capital Kinshasa at the end of the 1960s.


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Les habits neufs du gouverneur 2005
Wild Games 1997 L'africain
Taratata 1995 TV Series
Life Is Rosy 1987 Kourou

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Children of Men 2006 performer: "Sakana" / writer: "Sakana" - as Wembadio
L'assedio 1998 performer: "Maria Valencia", "Le voyageur"
Black Mic Mac 1986 writer: "Proclamation"

Composer

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Identity Pieces 1998
Macadam tribu 1996
Life Is Rosy 1987

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Real World of Peter Gabriel 2009 TV Movie documentary Himself
The Importance of Being Elegant 2004 TV Movie documentary Himself
Later... With Jools Holland 1995 TV Series Himself
Peter Gabriel's Secret World 1994 TV Movie documentary Himself - Vocals

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The African Rock 'n' Roll Years 2006 TV Series documentary Himself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1987 Georges Delerue Prize Ghent International Film Festival La vie est belle (1987) · Zaïko Langa Langa
· Tshala Muana
· Klody


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