A symbolic and untypical figure in the musical landscape of Congo-Brazzaville whose Rumba and Soukouss are the most dominant styles, former teacher, song-writer, poet and performer NZONGO SOUL has become famous for his musical style summorized by a single word:”WALLA” which symbolises purification for the Koongo people and etymologically means “listening to the path”.
NZONGO SOUL grew keen on singing very early and had come to be his school choirs’ lead singer. At 14 years old, he set up his first group DJILAMULEY. Much later, his debut single track “bolingo somo” propelled him speedily up the ladder to regional star. An amazing performer, he set up the WALLA PLAYERS, a professional band with which he made his AFRO ‘WALLA’ BEAT music known. A style adopted by urban youth for whom NZONGO SOUL is a cultural marker, a key furthering the reappropriation and comprehension of BANTOUs’ thought. NZONGO SOUL rapidly grows into a Star in Africa, particularly in his country Congo. Carrying on with hits like “Walla c’est ma musique”, the album “Mvanéno lélé” and the one published on his own label “wa sémo” (ancestors’ messengers).
In 1984, he won RFI DECOUVERTES prize. The year after, he met French star BERNARD LAVILLLIERS in Brazzaville, the later enthusing straight away over NZONGO SOUL’s AFRO”WALLA” GROOVE, invited him on his “VOLEUR DE FEU” album where NZONGO SOUL sang in lingala on the track “NOIR ET BLACK “ which earned him overexposure back in the 80’s. NZONGO SOUL recorded a completely lingala version of that song featuring Bernard LAVILLIERS and late Rumba icon ABETI MASIKINI as back up vocalists. That version was released on his “Mamé” album produced by BERNARD LAVILLIERS. Other projects followed like the 1990 album “walla music” dedicated to the NGO “mémoires du temps” and the tales album “mémoires du monde” featuring French comedians Pierre ARDITI, Carole BOUQUET, Catherine DENEUVE, Annie DUPEREY before making the choice of concentrating on his ‘musicosophie’.concept which mingles music and philosophy.
NZONGO SOUL has been through various experimentations with both the older and younger generations: MANU DIBANGO, les TAMBOURS DE BRAZZA, SALIF KEITA, ALPHA BLONDY, KEZIAH JONES, late novelist and playwright SONY LABOU TANSI who personally taught him about his vision of Koongo symbolism.
After a long break away from the show business spotlights yet very intense in terms of artistic maturation, of passing on the universal values of WALLA music and BANTOU philosophy… NZONGO SOUL comes back to fill his public‘s expectations with his brand new album entitled “musicosophie”and whose concern is music in the heart of the BANTOU’s thought:
“In Ancestral Africa, the act of making music is not perceived as a simple esthetical gesture. It is rather an healthy sacred gesture which keeps alive the vitality of speech by permanently letting it travel within it’s 3 stages: speaking, singing and dancing each corresponding to three states: existence, immanescence and transcendence.” NZONGO SOUL
“In Ancestral Africa, the act of making music is not perceived as a simple esthetical gesture. It is rather an healthy sacred gesture which keeps alive the vitality of speech by permanently letting it travel within it’s 3 stages: speaking, singing and dancing each corresponding to three states: existence, immanescence and transcendence.” NZONGO SOUL.
Resolutely rooted in traditional Koongo culture, the “Musicosophie ‘ album is a mosaic of rhythms which are the reflections of NZONGO SOUL’s eclectism. From the raw AFRO WALLA BEAT tracks like ‘iméni’, ‘E walla’, ‘Yaya nzola’,’ Fuki’ ‘Walla drive’, the commanding ‘Kuunga Koongo’ track penned by late playwright and novelist SONY LABOU TANSI to celebrate a standing Congo, the ‘brazzaville’ track painting the realities of that city with guest appearances by BERNARD LAVILLIERS, MANU DIBANGO and les TAMBOURS DE BRAZZA; then AFRO FOLK ballads in kiKoongo like “ku sandi bo’, ‘Mu kutu mbala’, ‘Nza yi’ and ‘TCHIMPA VITA’ which is a tribute in English to that legendary 19th century anti-colonialism female fighter. NZONGO SOUL also lets his poetic creativity flow through chanson Française- flavoured tracks like ‘la parole rend libre’, ’géométrie’ and the slam ‘soit fidèle à toi’., ‘ ‘the upbeat ‘Time of change’ track with it’s Kwaito, House, disco and congo grooves recipe , the WALLA- Funky ‘Chikama’ track are all an illustration of NZONGO SOUL’s openness.
Mosocosophie Digital distribution :
Believe music France. concerts & infos : www.myspace.com/nzongosoul
Contact presse :
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Tel : 06.61.86.53.36
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