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How Kanda Bongo Man came up with Soukous style of music


Congolese musician Kandabongman (left) addressing the media today at Sheraton ahead of tomorrow’s concert as Kampala metropolitan PRO Patrick Onyango (right) look at Sheraton Kampala hotel in Kampala. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI

Legendary Congo musician Kanda Bongo Man is in Uganda and will be the headlining act at the Dance party show at Kampala Sheraton Hotel. It has been over 25 years since the musician last performed in Uganda at the then- Nile hotel which is now Serena Hotel.

While addressing journalists earlier today, the 64-year-old spoke of his excitement to be back to Uganda and promised an exciting show come 31st December.

Kanda Bongo Man is widely known for the structural changes he implemented to soukous music when he revolutionized the style by encouraging guitar solos after every verse and even sometimes at the beginning of the song. His form of soukous gave birth to the Kwasa Kwasa dance rhythm, a style that was never known in Congo. Asked why he changed from Rumba to Soukous, the musician said it all changed when he went to France in 1979.

“When I went to France, I was playing Rumba but people couldn’t catch up because they didn’t know what I was playing. It was very slow kind of music so I decided to appeal to them by coming up with something new. Give them more fast beats that everyone could dance to and that is how I came up with soukous,” he said.

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