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King kester emeneya


Emeneya Mubiala, aka KING KESTER EMENEYA, was born in 1956 in Leopoldville, the administrative capital of the Belgian Congo, which later became Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was a brilliant student whose only passion was music – first in church, where he learnt singing and harmony, then with a much more secular repertoire.

Even back in the days of Les Anges Noirs (The Black Angels), his university band, Emeneya had decided to create music in his own image. Enrolled at the University of Lubumbashi where he was studying political and administrative sciences, the young man (who went under the name of Jo Kester at the time) was already building a reputation as a perfect front man: all eyes were on him at concerts.

When he met Papa Wemba in 1977, he decided to give up his studies and devote himself to music. Until 1982, he was one of the group VIVA LA MUSICA’s leading lights and recorded fifteen or so albums with them. Although their ways have since parted, Papa Wemba and Emeneya (who has since become King Kester) still have great respect for each today.

 

The VICTORIA ELEÏSON band that he founded in 1982 is still a matchless testing ground and springboard for new talent in Congolese music. For Emeneya, innovation is not just a question of using new technologies, it also means building on tradition. After all, Emeneya was the man who brought back brass… Bright new talents - Viva La Musica, Zaïko Langa Langa, etc. – had rewritten the rules of Zairean rumba laid down by the greats - Franco, Rochereau and Kallé – replacing them with “animation” (verbal improvisation), singing and yells. But in Kinshasa, some of the public were unhappy with this new style. Emeneya’s genius was to reintroduce a brass section as a nod to tradition, but simultaneously modernise the very sound of rumba with the addition of synthesisers. He was actually the first artist to use synthesisers in Congolese music. His creativity and daring gave him an unquestionable edge over most other artists of his generation, earning him the nickname "King".

 

KING KESTER is a reference for some and a model for others. His gifts as a singer-songwriter and showman have won him a reputation that extends well beyond the “Kin” scene. A talkative and tireless creator, he has performed all over the world with his VICTORIA ELEÏSON band, establishing himself as one of the three top sellers in modern Congolese music. In France, the band played the Paris ZENITH in October 2001 and the OLYMPIA in April 2002.

 

 

"Nouvel ordre" - CD Lusafrica 362892

Artist's albums

Nouvel Ordre

Nouvel Ordre - King Kester Emeneya - CD, World Music, album, VPC, lusafrica
12.00 €

LUSAFRICA 115 Rue Lamarck 75018 PARIS - lusafrica@lusafrica.com

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