Music Culture Wednesdays Vol. 9

Every Wednesday I will be introducing great kizomba artists from the PALOP* community that usually don’t receive the recognition they deserve.

Kizomba music comes from all over the PALOP community, not just Angola. All mixes between zouk and Afro rhythms (not to be confused with Afro-house) are normally called kizomba, amongst PALOPS, regardless if the artists or bands are from Guiné-Bissau, Cabo-Verde, São Tomé and Prince, Mozambique or even the Congo (which is not a PALOP country).


Tabanka was a group formed in 1986 by brothers Micas, Zé Carlos and Juvenal Cabral along with Aguinaldo de Pina and Rui Silva.  Two years later in 1988 Tabanka Djaz was formed and after a tour in the U.S. they decided to record their first album, Homónimo, released in January 1990.

The second album, Indimigo, was released in 1993. In 1996 Sperança become a Gue hit winning “Ngwomo Africa awards” in 1997, equivalent to the Grammys of Africa.
In 1999, at the invitation of Martinho da Vila (Brazilian singer), they participated in the Lusofonia project and consolidated their status as ambassadors of Gumbé, a musical rhythm originating in the Bissau region.
On May 27, 2002 they released Sintimento, in which great musicians such as Martinho da Vila (Brazilian singer), Tony Dudu (Guinean guitarist) and others participated in an album filled with new sounds. For the vocalist Micas Cabral “it was a cry of revolt” of a band that politicized the lyrics while maintaining “declarations of love”.
One week after release, their fourth album went silver (10,000 units sold). The album was presented in its entirety live at the well known African disco “B. Leza” in Lisbon.
The death of keyboard player Caló Barbosa in 2006, the financial crisis that rocked the music industry in Portugal and the return to Angola in 2008 of the drummer Dinho Silva led to eleven years of silence.  The album After the Silence, released in December 2013, presents itself as the celebration of 25 years of the group’s career and features the single “Foi Assim”.

Tabanka Djaz is also an example that every African country has their own version of “kizomba”.  They like to call their music Afro-Zouk, but the PALOP community often refers to it as kizomba.

These are my personal picks and not necessarily the most popular mainstream songs. I hope my post inspires you to continue researching and exploring more on your own!

Kizomba – Indimigo –
ALBUM: Tabanka Djaz – Indimigo [1993] ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ 04 – Indimigo

Kizomba – Bacu-
Subido con Free Video Converter de Freemake

Kizomba – Rusga di 7:30 –

Kizomba – Sub 17 –

Kizomba – Nô Fiança –

Kizomba – Foi Assim –

Kizomba – Depois do Silêncio –

Gumbe – Brincadera di Aos –

*PALOP – Portuguese-speaking African countries, also referred to as Lusophone Africa, consists of six African countries in which the Portuguese language is an official language: Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe. Besides having a common language, the five former colonies of the Portuguese Empire share a strong “cultural identity, a similar system of governance and a long tradition of contacts and exchanges amongst themselves”. In 1992, the five Lusophone African countries formed an interstate organization called PALOP, a colloquial acronym that translates to African Countries of Portuguese Official Language (In Portuguese: Países Africanos de Língua Oficial Portuguesa). The PALOP countries signed official agreements with Portugal, the European Union and the United Nations, and they work together to promote the development of culture and education and the preservation of the Portuguese language. Together with Portugal and Brazil in 1996, the Portuguese-speaking African countries established the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (Portuguese: Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa, abbreviated to CPLP).

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