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Fally Ipupa, the Congolese prince of the globalized rumba

Culture and Music

He is nicknamed the Wonder Dicap, El Maravilloso, El Magnifico and so on. The mark of the great Congolese music scene. So many “stripes” for this 5-star General of the rumba earned on the battlefield of Kinshasa where competition among artists is also as ruthless as it is in the US, where groups appear and end as fast as tropical rain.

Fally Ipupa will celebrate this year his ten years of solo career and one that is part of the very exclusive club of the continent’s stars and has set himself a goal of being the first star of his country to conquer the world market. “I made the tour of Africa, I have nothing to prove it, he says. I want to go to the other side, entertain Asian audiences, European or American. ”

Rumba overboosted

The introverted young man born in Bandal, Musicians district of the capital, after a slow start in myriad formations, turned into an attractive ambitious kid over the years. In 1999, his transfer at the age of 22, in the Latin Quarter Group, the famous formation of the no less famous Koffi Olomide, was already much written about.

Taking his time to refine his exceptional talent as a singer, in 2006 he began a solo career with his debut album right path; the ndombolo (this super rumba that connects youth) to new accents and a huge success: more than one million copies, pirates or not sold on the continent and in the diaspora (including a gold record in France). Two other opus, Arsenal beautiful melodies (2009) and Power Kosa Leka (2013) would definitively take over.

Read also: rumba, soundtrack mutations of Congolese society (French)

“Congolese music was a real mess, express Fally Ipupa. My seniors, Tabu Ley, Kanda Bongo Man, Werrason and others such as JB MPIANA never wanted to be exported outside the continent as they earned a lot of money.” A few nuances however: Franco had sketched the leap into the world market before dying in 1989. Papa Wemba had also attempted an approach with three albums (The Traveller, Emotion and Molokai) made under the leadership of the rock star third World, Peter Gabriel, between 1992 and 1998; and then there was the unique opportunity offered to Koffi Olomide when the fires of French and European events were pointed at his concert (a first for an African star!) in 2000 in the Paris Bercy hall arch-height, a chance he did not know how or would not want to seize.

Read more on the French version.

Source: Le Monde Afrique

This post is also available in: French

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