Kanda Bongo Man

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The long-reigning king of soukous

Anyone attempting to write the history of African music’s impact on British tastes during the late 1980s had better call Kanda Bongo Man. He’s a key protagonist in the story, a singer and bandleader who, championed by John Peel and Andy Kershaw on late-night Radio One, introduced the sizzling sound of soukous to delighted ears. At that time, he was invariably accompanied by the equally mighty Diblo Dibala, the speedball six-string wizard who was arguably Africa’s greatest guitarist at the time. The Kanda Bongo Man sound, notable for featuring more guitar solos than their contemporaries, filled venues across Europe and beyond, as well as pioneering the ‘kwasa kwasa’ dance move that all soukous fans attempted to master. All these years later, Kanda Bongo Man is still the man –a consummate performer of style and energy .Come worship the king.