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 neighbourhood 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 in African music and travelled 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 formed a group that he called Kotakoli, using it to affirm his tastes and desires, deftly blending Congolese rumba, zouk and soukous, with flamboyant energy. As with his live album Personnalité, you won’t want to miss this master of Congolese dance, in the art and manner of Kinshasa!