The Republic of the Congo is an African nation with close musical ties to its neighbor, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Democratic Republic of the Congo's homegrown pop music, soukous, is popular across the border, and musicians from both countries have fluidly travelled throughout the region playing similarly styled music, including Nino Malapet and Jean Serge Essous. Brazzaville had a major music scene until unrest in the late 1990s, and produced popular bands like Bantous de la Capitale that played an integral role in the development of soukous and other styles of Congolese popular music . The Hip-Hop group "Bisso na Bisso" also hails from Congo-Brazzaville.
The Republic of the Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville, the Congo Republic, ROC or simply the Congo, is a country located in the western coast of Central Africa. It is bordered by five countries: Gabon to its west; Cameroon to its northwest and the Central African Republic to its northeast; the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the southeast and the Angolan exclave of Cabinda to its south; and the Atlantic Ocean to its southwest.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, East Congo, or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It is sometimes anachronistically referred to by its former name of Zaire, which was its official name between 1971 and 1997. It is, by area, the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, the second-largest in all of Africa, and the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of over 78 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populated officially Francophone country, the fourth-most-populated country in Africa, and the 16th-most-populated country in the world. Currently, eastern DR Congo is the scene of ongoing military conflict in Kivu, since 2015.
Soukous is a popular genre of dance music from the Congo Basin. It derived from Congolese rumba in the 1960s and gained popularity in the 1980s in France. Although often used by journalists as a synonym for Congolese rumba, both the music and dance currently associated with soukous differ from more traditional rumba, especially in its higher tempo, longer dance sequences. Notable performers of the genre include African Fiesta, Papa Wemba and Pépé Kallé.
The national anthem of the Republic of the Congo is La Congolaise. It was adopted upon independence in 1959, replaced in 1969 by Les Trois Glorieuses but reinstated in 1991. The words were written by Jacques Tondra and Georges Kibanghi, the music was composed by Jean Royer and Joseph Spadilière.
A national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people. The majority of national anthems are marches or hymns in style. The countries of Latin America, Central Asia, and Europe tend towards more ornate and operatic pieces, while those in the Middle East, Oceania, Africa, and the Caribbean use a more simplistic fanfare. Some countries that are devolved into multiple constituent states have their own official musical compositions for them ; their constituencies' songs are sometimes referred to as national anthems even though they are not sovereign states.
Les Trois Glorieuses was the anthem of the People's Republic of the Congo from January 1, 1970 through 1991, when the original anthem, La Congolaise was restored.
The Republic is home to the Sub-Saharan African music traditions of the Kongo (48%), Sangha (20%), M'Bochi (12%) and Teke (17%) people, as well as 3% Europeans and others, in a population of about 4,492,689 (July 2013 est.).
African music traditions exhibit so many common features that they may in some respects be thought of as constituting a single musical system. While some African music is clearly contemporary-popular music and some is art-music, still a great deal is communal and orally transmitted while still qualifying as a religious or courtly genre.
The Kongo people are a Bantu ethnic group primarily defined as the speakers of Kikongo.
The Sangha are an ethnic group in the northern Republic of the Congo. They make up 20% of the Congo's population, making them the second largest Congolese ethnic group.
Folk instruments in the Republic of the Congo include the xylophone and mvet . The mvet is a kind of zither-harp, similar to styles found elsewhere in both Africa and Asia. The mvet is made of a long tube with one or two gourds acting as resonators .
The xylophone is a musical instrument in the percussion family that consists of wooden bars struck by mallets. Each bar is an idiophone tuned to a pitch of a musical scale, whether pentatonic or heptatonic in the case of many African and Asian instruments, diatonic in many western children's instruments, or chromatic for orchestral use.
The mvet is a stringed musical instrument, the harp-lute of the Fang people of Gabon, Cameroon, São Tomé and Equatorial Guinea. Somewhat resembling the Mande kora, but larger and simpler, it consists of a tubular stick of palm-raffia or bamboo, between one and two metres long, with usually three calabash resonators. A central vertical bridge divides four or five gut or metal strings, played both sides of the bridge.
Zither is a class of stringed instruments.
Though soukous has become much more closely associated with the popular music of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, early in the style's evolution both the local scenes of Kinshasa and Brazzaville played a very important role. In these cities, American style orchestras (called soukous, or kirikiri or kasongo) played rumba (a kind of Cuban music) influenced by traditional music and jazz. Soukous arose from this fusion of styles, popularized as dance music by a number of different orchestras in the 1950s and 60s.
Music of the Democratic Republic of the Congo varies in its different forms. Outside Africa, most music from the Democratic Republic of Congo is called Soukous, which most accurately refers instead to a dance popular in the late 1960s. The term rumba or rock-rumba is also used generically to refer to Congolese music, though neither is precise nor accurately descriptive.
Kinshasa is the capital and the largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The city is situated alongside the Congo River.
Brazzaville is the capital and largest city of the Republic of the Congo. Constituting the financial and administrative centre of the country, it is located on the north side of the Congo River, opposite Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The population of the capital is estimated to exceed 1.8 million residents, comprising more than a third of the national populace, 40% of whom are employed in non-agricultural professions. During World War II, Brazzaville was also the capital of Free France between 1940 and 1942.
The best-known Music of the Cameroon is makossa, a popular style that has gained fans across Africa, and its related dance craze bikutsi.
Music of the Central African Republic includes many different forms. Western rock and pop music, as well as Afrobeat, soukous and other genres have become popular nationwide. The sanza is a popular instrument.
Equatorial Guinea's culture has been less documented than most African countries, and commercial recordings remain scarce.
The term Congolese music can refer to the music of two countries:
Le Grand Kallé et l'African Jazz, often simply referred to as African Jazz, was a popular and extremely influential Congolese rumba (soukous) band from the modern-day Democratic Republic of the Congo. Founded in 1953 in Léopoldville under Belgian colonial rule, the band was led by Joseph Kabasele Tshamala, popularly known by his stage name Le Grand Kallé. The group saw its heyday between 1958 and 1962, after which it was hit by defections by its members in 1963. It was briefly revived after 1966.
Chad is an ethnically diverse Central African country in Africa. Each of its regions has its own unique varieties of music and dance. The Fulani people, for example, use single-reeded flutes, while the ancient griot tradition uses five-string kinde and various kinds of horns, and the Tibesti region uses lutes and fiddles. Musical ensembles playing horns and trumpets such as the long royal trumpets known as "waza" or "kakaki" are used in coronations and other upper-class ceremonies throughout both Chad and Sudan.
Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, known professionally as Papa Wemba, was a Congolese singer and musician who played Congolese rumba, soukous, and ndombolo. Sometimes dubbed the "King of Rumba Rock", he was one of the most popular musicians of his time in Africa and played an important role in world music. He was also a fashion icon who popularized the Sape look and style through his musical group Viva la Musica, with whom he performed on stages throughout the world.
Kwassa kwassa is a dance created by Jeannora, a mechanic in Kinshasa from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, that started in the 1980s where the hips move back and forth while the hands move to follow the hips. It was very popular in Africa.
Congolese rumba, also known as Rumba Lingala after its predominant language, is a popular genre of dance music which originated in the Congo basin during the 1940s, with strong similarities to Cuban son. The style gained popularity throughout Africa during the 1960s and 1970s.
Bisso Na Bisso is a music collective of rappers and singers with origins from Congo Brazzaville formed in 1999. The group consisting of Ben-J, Lino and Calbo, Doc and G Kill, Mystik and the only female M'Passi was put together by French rapper Passi.
Muziki wa dansi, or simply dansi, is a Tanzanian music genre, derivative of Congolese soukous. It is sometimes called Swahili jazz because most dansi lyrics are in Swahili, and "jazz" is an umbrella term used in Central and Eastern Africa to refer to soukous, highlife, and other dance music and big band genres. Muziki wa dansi can also be referred to as Tanzanian rumba, as "african rumba" is another name for soukous.
Gaspard Wuta Mayi, commonly known as Wuta Mayi, is a soukous recording artist, composer and vocalist, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He was once a member of the soukous band TPOK Jazz, led by François Luambo Makiadi, which dominated the Congolese music scene from the 1960s through the 1980s.
Saturnin Pandi (1932–1996) was a soukous recording artist, conga player, in the Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville) and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He was one of the founding members of the soukous band TPOK Jazz, formed in 1956, led by François Luambo Makiadi, which dominated the Congolese music scene from the 1950s through the 1980s. He was also a member of the Bantous de la Capitale, formed, in Brazzaville in 1959, led by Jean Serge Essous.
Richard Abongy Balengola Yende, best known as Richacha "Chacha" Balengola, is a reggae, soukous and world music drummer from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, based in Reims, France, since 1987.
Niasony Okomo is a Congolese singer, model and dancer born Alexandrine Severine Niasony Okomo in Republic of the Congo. Known for her smooth voice and message-based music, she currently lives and works in Germany.
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