Tambour d’Afrique Trip Down Memory Lane…

6 Jan

Tonight, I’ve been listening to my dad’s radio station tambour d’afrique (check out my sister’s blog <a tambourdafrique.blogspot.com that gives uploads of past shows and amazing background info.)

So, it’s leaving me feeling more than nostalgic for 1980’s Zaiko music (or to be more au courant, Democratic Republic of Congo), otherwise known as SOUKOUS- literally a derivative of the French word that means ‘to shake.’

It feels like only yesterday when my sister and I tried out the kwasa kwasa dance to my aunt’s old soukous records when we visited her in Dijon, France Of course the adults held court, eating boiled peanuts and drinking beer while they discussed neighborhood gossip and African politics. This is back in the days when soukous was beginning to get a bit more of an electronic influence from the States and the French Caribbean islands, but was still holding on to its rumba soul before giving way to the earth-shaking sebene* that would close out the song.

One song emblematic of the era was Massu, sung by the literal one-hit singing sensation Jolie Detta. She was discovered by Franco of the Tout Puissant OK Jazz and was chosen to headline this song about a friendship broken over jealousy and vicious gossip; however, the singer left the public eye soon after due to the stress of sudden fame. Or so the story goes.

I love Jolie’s buoyant voice and charismatic connection to her audience in the following video. It transports me far away from the bitter, winter cold outside and into my grandfather’s home in Thysville, Congo back in 1984.

What song has the power to completely transport you? To transcend whatever issue or problem you might be facing? Listen to it as soon as possible!

Peace, Dalia

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