Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Long Live Papa: Papa Wemba and "Sala Keba"

Today's tune is by Papa Wemba, who recently departed this life while performing on stage on April 24th, 2016. A Congolese musician and singer who worked primarily in the genres of rumba, soukous and ndombolo, he was one of the most popular African musicians of his time. He performed with a number of bands in the 70s before starting his own group, Viva la Musica. He especially developed his sound after his group performed in Paris in the 1980s. He also became internationally known, especially after performing with Peter Gabriel on his Secret World Live tour in 1993. He eventually maintained two incarnations of his musical group, one in Paris and the other in Kinshasa. In the early 2000s, he ran into legal troubles after being suspected of trafficking illegal immigrants into France - he spent over three months in jail. Regardless, he had a deep impact on a younger generation of Congolese musicians, and will be deeply missed. This song, Sala Keba, can be found on his 1995 album Emotion.