Sunday, April 24, 2016

The singer Papa Wemba died in Abidjan after a stage malaise – The Point

The Congolese singer Papa Wemba, 66, king of Congolese rumba, crazy fashion and beautiful clothes, died in the night from Saturday to Sunday after a malaise that occurred on stage in Abidjan. high-pitched voice and flamboyant personality, the “nightingale” Papa Wemba was one of the great figures of Congolese rumba and the prince of the Sape (La Sape), movement of which he was one of the initiators in Zaire in the 70s and is characterized by the greatest daring dress. Born Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba June 14, 1949 in the region of Kasai River (south of the Belgian Congo), Papa Wemba took his passion for singing from his mother, a “weeping” that accompanies the wakes while his father would preferred to see become a lawyer rather than a musician.

After starting in church choirs, where he forged his loud, very characteristic, he arrived in Kinshasa in the late 60s when, influenced as all his generation by the Anglo-Saxon culture, he took the pseudonym “Jules Presley.” He participated in 1969 in the creation of a major Zairian groups of the 70s, Zaiko Langa Langa, who dusts off the traditional rumba (style born in the late 40s, combining Afro-Cuban rhythms and Congolese songs) in introducing rock rhythms and electric sounds. Papa Wemba created the group Viva La Musica in 1977. It was then a star in Central Africa. He founded the town of Molokai near Kinshasa, which he proclaims traditional leader.

Its ties with France

In the 80s, with the emergence of ” world music “, European producers interested in him. His stays in France are becoming more frequent. In Zaire, his music is an outlet for youth, even if he refuses to play any political role. Papa Wemba moved to France in 1986 as its reputation even affects Japan, packed by this African dandy who dresses in great fashion. It begins to touch a wider audience, thanks to a “world music” album produced by the French Martin Meissonier in 1988 that combines African and Western sounds.

In the early 90s, he befriended Peter Gabriel (former lead singer of Genesis, which launched his RealWorld label), which it provides the first parts. Papa Wemba released three discs on the RealWorld label, developed for Western audiences, while at the same time he published other works more focused on the African community. However, it does not meet success of other African stars in Europe or the US, for example, Senegalese Youssou N’Dour.

His international career has lost some of its luster after the end of RealWorld his contract in 1999. especially when it appears more in miscellaneous category in the early 2000s with a conviction in France for the unauthorized residence of foreigners in the guise of his musical activities. He spent over three months in custody in 2003 in connection with the case.

But the father of six children remained a major star in Africa. It was all the major musical events on the continent, including singing in honor of 90 years of Nelson Mandela in June 2008 in London. At 66, he was one of the headliners of the Femua, big festival in Abidjan, where he made a scene on Saturday evening discomfort.


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