Congolese rumba and soukous top the list with Blaise Labamba. Born to a pianist father and chorister mother in Congo-Kinshasa, known then as Zaïre, and growing up in a setting where African music was all the rage, he took up the piano, guitar and percussions.
In 1990, he set up his first group, Tout-Chic-Gombé, in the neighborhood where he lived. From 1993 to 1995, Blaise studied music at the Institut National des Arts in Kinshasa and then joined the group led by a top Congolese star of that era, Général Defao, and his “Big Stars.” There then began a succession of international tours. Blaise played with big names of African music and traveled around the continent.
In 1999, he settled in Montréal and took his place on the Canadian scene, accompanying various groups on stage. After notching up hundreds of concerts, Blaise Labamba launched a solo career in 2009.
In 2018, he created a group named Kotakoli, with which he asserts his tastes and desires, while mixing with talent the Congolese rumba zouk and soukous, with a flamboyant energy. This year, he appeared at the Syli d’or de la musique du monde organized by Productions Nuits d’Afrique. “Charged with breaking the ice at the beginning of the evening, Blaise Labamba and the Kotakoli orchestra were the most experienced musicians of this final.” (Le Devoir) and won the third place of this contest.