The Democratic Republic of Congo is usually known around the world for it’s horrific civil wars and blood diamond mining.
But in amongst all the sadness and exploitation, there are people. People are creative, people want to dance, people want to be happy.
So it’s great that the talent there gets exposure worldwide, and the artists get an outlet for their music.
Mbongwana Star are a Congolese band from Kinshasa, the DRC capital, with 7 members. The sound they have is distinctly African, but it’s very futuristic. The word Afro-Futurism is used to describe many things but if it is ever meant to be used, it’s meant to be used for this sort of thing.
The sound is electronic and dubbed out, bass heavy and dancefloor ready. Much of this could be due to the influence of Kinono No.1. But it’s still got the rhythmical nuance of traditional African music, with it’s cascading drum patterns, ringing melodies, and chorus singing.
When I learned that many of the band members use crutches and wheelchairs my respect for the energy of this band only increased.
The song is from the album From Kinshasa, released in 2015.