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Papa Wemba - EP

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Album Review

Papa Wemba, the debonair and prolific Zairean-gone-international musician whose artistry spans over 22 years of performing, returns with his self-titled album. This was released in 1994, after his move to Paris. From "M'Fono Yami" to "Hambayi Ede," his music is full of catchy, upbeat tempos, rhythmic chanting, and is remarkably danceable, upholding him in his title as the King of Rhumba. Wemba's inclination to sing in a minor key is an influence from his mother, who was a professional mourner and sang at funerals. However, there is nothing mournful about Wemba's music. It's bright, energetic, and cheerful — just right for raising spirits. Highly recommended for fans of African music, and listeners who have his albums Emotion and L' Esclaveare may wish to add this to their collections as well.


Born: 14 June 1949 in Lubefu, Congo

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With his dynamic vocals and flamboyant personality, Papa Wemba (born Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba) played an essential role in the evolution of Central African music. Respectfully known as "the King of Rhumba," Wemba successfully fused African traditions with Western pop and rock influences. A co-founder of Zaiko Langa Langa in 1970, he went on to international attention as the leader of Isife Lokole in 1974 and Viva la Musica after 1976. Born in the Kinshasa region of what was then the Belgian...
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Papa Wemba - EP, Papa Wemba
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