Monday Morning Artist: Sam Mangwana

The second in this occasional series, the featured artist today is the Congolese musician Sam Mangwana. He is one of the leaders of the Soukous genre, derived from the French “secouer” (to shake) and once known as the African rumba. That means it’s fun! I also find it fascinating how it mixes African and Latin rhythms and sound together.

This YouTube clip is just the music really, not much video, but it’s a great tune with Franco and TPOK Jazz.

If you like that, the best place I’ve found to listen to some of Sam Magwana’s music is over at Rhapsody.

Calabash Music, with the tag “Tune Your World,” also provides a list of some of Mangwana’s music, including short clips. Calabash gives a bio as well:

In his early years, Mangwana formally studied music as a member of the Salvation Army Chorus. While in his mid-teens, Mangwana began his professional career. At age 17, he became the lead singer of the group ‘Tabu Ley Rocherau’s Africa Fiesta’, in addition to singing with the band for over 10 years, Mangwana appeared with other popular Soukous bands. In 1976, he formed his own band called the ‘African All Stars’, in 86′ their single “Maria Tebba,” became a huge soukous hit. He sings in seven different languages, both African and European and has toured extensively inside and outside Africa, justifying his tag as the ‘International Sam Mangwana’ and the ‘Pigeon Voyager’. Mangwana serves up a blend of Cuban and Congolese sounds, seamlessly fusing them together. Mangwana’s style is referred to as the Congolese Rumba because he deftly takes Cuban styles and puts any number of Congolese (or Mangwanese) twists to it.

For more, you can look at Mangwana’s albums on Amazon. And here’s the unofficial Sam Mangwana website.

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