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Soukous Mix

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ScanAfrika Radio

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The most popular beat and Music from Africa,Soukous is a genre of dance music that originated from Cuban Rumba music in the Belgian Congo and French Congo during the 1940s and gained popularity throughout Africa.

Soukous is known as Congo in West Africa and Lingala in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania after the Lingala language of the lyrics. In Zambia and Zimbabwe, where Congolese music is also influential, it is still usually referred to as Rumba. It mixes the kwasa kwasa with the fast tempo zouk style and Congolese rumba. It is also an individual dance.

"Soukous", a derivative of the French word "secousse" – "to shake" – was originally the name of a dance and music popular in the Congos in the late 1960s, an African version of the Cuban Rumba. From the 1940s, Afro-Cuban son groups such as Septeto Habanero and Trio Matamoros had been played over Radio Congo Belge in Léopoldville (Kinshasa), and the Congo shared the widespread popularity of Cuban music during the late 1940s and 1950s.


In the 1950s and 1960s, some artists who had performed in the bands of Franco Luambo and Grand Kalle formed their own groups. Tabu Ley Rochereau and Dr. Nico Kasanda formed African Fiesta and transformed their music further by fusing Congolese folk music with soul music, as well as Caribbean and Latin beats and instrumentation. They were joined by Papa Wemba and Sam Mangwana, and classics like Afrika Mokili Mobimba made them one of Africa's most prominent bands. Congolese "rumba" eventually evolved into soukous. Tabu Ley Rochereau and Dr Nico Kasanda are considered the pioneers of modern soukous. Other greats of this period include Koffi Olomide, Tshala Muana and Wenge Musica.