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Kapa Dêch


KAPA DÊCH - biography

 

Full and generous voices, fusion beats, fluid melodies and ardent vitality… We could continue the list, mentioning the opulent, meticulous arrangements and the skilful architecture of writing that harmoniously blends jazz and Mozambican beats, Jamaican and South-African influences, funk, rock and other musical styles. Then, of course, there are the lyrics, words rich in meaning and sung in the local languages of their country: Mozambique. Young, determined and open-minded, the musicians and singers of Kapa Dêch symbolise the renascent creativity and energy of a land devastated by seventeen years of civil war.

 

Before they formed Kapa Dêch, these artists were scattered around the country playing simple, undemanding music. But each of them already had their mind on greater things: a more adult music, one that would be "more worthy of Mozambicans" as they said at the time. "A fusion music, but one that will really represent the culture of the people and the nation"  Gradually, this idea gained ground. In April 1996, consigning their frustrations to the waves, they came together to share their musical dreams and a new chapter began. One for all and all for one: Kapa Dêch was born. The project was officially launched on the 14th July 1996 at a concert that left the audience reeling at the Maputo French Cultural Centre. It was the first step towards their dream of "recording in Paris one day, because it's the capital of African music ". In 1997, they played at the "Music Crossroads" festival organised by Swedish Co-operation and bringing together groups from Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. It was there that they achieved their status as regional stars. The following year, they were offered a tour of Scandinavia. But 1998 was to be the year that brought the greatest joys and honours, for it was then that they recorded their first album "Katchume" (Lusafrica 262602) in a Paris studio, appeared at Lisbon's Expo 98, toured around fifteen towns in Sweden and played at a festival in Norway where they made the acquaintance of Ray Phiri, the legendary South-African guitarist and songwriter (former leader of the band Stimela, he appeared on Paul Simon's "Graceland" album and tour, events that helped bring South-African music to the attention of the world at the end of the 1980s). Ray Phiri was enchanted by Kapa Dêch and the admiration was mutual: Kapa Dêch had always been fans of Ray Phiri and his songs (their music shows clear signs of this esteem). To celebrate this providential encounter, the guitarist worked with Kapa Dêch on a track from their second album.

 

Backed by a solid foundation of beats rooted in tradition, the group have again woven a flamboyant and deeply modern patchwork. The music is there to entertain, while the words are mainly intended to increase the awareness of listeners. They stir consciences as they speak of war, education, identity and poverty, confronting these issues head on, and particularly deplore the sleaze that plagues their country. A journalist investigating corruption in Mozambique was murdered a few months ago, but speaking of the affair, they promise that this will not silence them, laughing heartily as they add: "if they want to kill us, they'll need plenty of bullets, we're a big group".

 

 

Discography:

“Katchume” - CD Lusafrica 262602

“Tsuketani” - CD Lusafrica 362382


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