Kizomba Music

Kizomba Radio Stations

Kizomba is a style of music and dance characterised by its slow tempo, African style rhythms and its romantic feel which is often sung in portuguese.

Mega Kizomba - Maputo, Mozambique

One Love Radio - London, England

Swigg Swigg Radio - Paris, France

Afro Beat Radio - Paris, France

Radio Atlântico - Praia, Cape Verde

Rádio Kuia Bue - Luanda, Angola

Kizomba Music

Its musical base is easily recognizable. Touching it with the palms of the hand would correspond to the following sequence: A strong clap (which would correspond to beat 1 of the music), followed by two softer claps and very close together in time (the first of them would be a syncopated note and the second would correspond to beat 2 of the music) and finally a third softer clap also separated from the previous ones (which would also be syncopated).

Although there are currently several types, we can consider its precursor to the Angolan Kizomba, whose greatest exponent is Barceló de Carvalho, better known as “Bonga”. He introduced this rhythm in Europe at the beginning of the 70’s.

Due to the fusion of this rhythm with other trends, other styles have emerged

Saotomean

It is very similar to the Angolan, being its main exponent musicians like Camilo Domingos, Juka, Filipe Santo, Açoreano, and Gapa

 

Caperverdean

It is different from the Angolan one, being softer its rhythms, less rough and more lyrical.

Kuduro

It is a rhythm that is fashionable in Angola and that emerges with force.

Fodencia

It is another style of Tarraxo, a street style. It is stronger and has a faster rhythm compass

Listen to Afro-Latin Rhythms

Links to music lists Kizomba, Semba, Urbankiz, Zouk, Kuduro and Fodencia

Kizomba: Origin and History

KiZOMBA emerged in Angola between the 60s and 70s, due to the fusion of the "semba" (Angolan rhythm precursor of samba) with other rhythms of African origin (zouk), and which began to dance in social events and ceremonies.

Kizomba Kizomba is a word that comes from Kimbúndu or Quimbúndo and means party/dance. Kimbúndu is a language spoken as a first or second language by more than three million people belonging to the North Ambundu ethnicity, and mainly in three provinces of Angola. The Portuguese language has incorporated expressions of this language such as BUNDA which means ass or XINGA which is curse.

On the origin of the Kizomba there is much controversy since the Angolans claim their authorship, but many Cape Verdeans will declare that it does not exist as such, but is Zouk sung in Portuguese.

After its study and several investigations, we can conclude that the first recognized musical genre that gave rise to what we know today as kizomba was the Bèlè, which is the name given to a dance and music inherited from the African ancestors who came to Martinique during slavery to work in the sugar cane plantations. The island of Martinique is an island of the group of the so-called Lesser Antilles, in waters of the Caribbean Sea. Christopher Columbus discovered it in 1502 and it has belonged to France since 1635.

Bèlè

Bèlè, also known as Bel Air following the Frenchness of the word in Creole, is a musical genre in which a singer with a very powerful voice develops a dialogue with those who dance and with those who play a drum. The drum follows a rhythm called "ti-bwa" beaten with two sticks. This rhythm comes from Dahomay (now Bénin). Its African name is djouba, a name that is still preserved in Haiti. The 2 great masters of Bèlè today are indisputably Ti Emile (Emile Casérus) and Ti Raoul (Raoul Grivalliers).

Beguine

Mixing the rhythm of the bèlè with the polka brought from Europe by the French and Dutch, the musicians of the Martinique created a new genre that will be baptized as the Beguine . During the Colonial Exhibition of 1931 many Antillean musicians meet in Paris and the beguine extends to all popular dances. The Beguine will know hours of glory until 1970, when commercial music invades the market. In recent times the goddess of the beguine has undoubtedly been Edith LEFEL, the crystalline voice like the waters of her beloved Martinique who died in 2003. In the 70's, the group Kassav takes up the Antillean rhythms and mixes them with the rhythms of disco music that are spreading at that time and develops a more commercial music that would be coined with the name of Zouk . Term derived from the name with which in the 1960s were known surprise parties or spontaneous in Martinique.

Kassav music band

KassavKassav music band was led by Jacob Desvarieux, who was born in Guadeloupe and lived for a long time in Senegal. This former Heavy Metal guitarist joined bassist George Decimus, pianist Jean Claude Naimro and percussionist Claude Vamur. In 1977 these four Afro-Caribbean musicians began to experiment in their laboratory with formulas to open up a fresh, different musical space committed to Afro-Caribbean cultural reaffirmation. At the end of the seventies they recorded their first album entitled Love and Ka Dance in which they reflected the influence of music of Congolese origin, projecting the rhythm Ka on drums, beguine on bass, Haitian melodies and funk on guitar. They don't perform any live concerts until 1982. But it was in 1986 when they performed at the great Zenith theatre in Paris that meant the consolidation of Kassav.

 

Zouk, Lambada and Kizomba

The Zouk is a style of very rhythmic music originating in the French Antilles. The word zouk means "party" or "festival" in Creole, a language spoken by the Antillean population that is a mixture of French and other African languages. Thus the verb "zouker" of the language "Creole", would be translated as "to go party to dance" and we thus confirm that the origins of Zouk are also located in the music Bèlè , and that its meaning is identical to Kizomba .The Zouk later spread throughout French Guiana and northern Brazil where it gave rise to the famous Lambada. Lambada is both a Zouk song and an erotic dance style from some areas of Northern Brazil. In 1989 the group Kaoma formed by Brazilian emigrants in France launched to the market their song "Lambada" that would be danced in all the discotheques of the world.
It is at this moment when the Zouk jumps from continent and returns to Africa, where its roots come from, and mainly arrives in Angola and Cape Verde, where the African musicians fuse it with the "Semba", already existing rhythm and very popular at that time. It is thus transformed into a slow, slow and romantic dance, which allows to feel strongly the contact with the couple, and we know today as KiZOMBA

 

 

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