Papa Wemba

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About Papa Wemba

Stylish, suave, and singularly talented, Papa Wemba became as much a fashion icon as a pop star. Wemba served his musical apprenticeship listening to Cuban dance music and, later on, to Otis Redding. He got his musical break with the ubiquitous Zaiko Langa Langa before going on to pursue his own projects. An extremely articulate individual, Wemba eschewed the soukous label, insisting that he was sui generis and simply performed to be danced to. In Wemba's music one found no heavy funk/R&B overlays, no horns: at most some bluesy flashes in the scintillating guitar work. Just a sparkling, glittering interplay of guitars, drums, and voices that never let up. ~ John Storm Roberts

Lubefu, Belgian Congo
June 14, 1949
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