Pascal Lokua Kanza is one of the sons of the continent. If his name does not ring a bell, consider yourself a traitor to the continent. How can you not recognize a legend’s name, yet know of R.Kelly? Shame!
His new album, Nkolo, which features the hit Nakozanga is beyond exceptional. I came across Nakozanga, when I was searching for Sally Nyolo’s Tam Tam. Another legend who shall grace these pages in days to come. I was blown away, by the beautiful acoustics and strong yet soothing voice of one Pascal. The official Nakozanga video is very rich in visual texture. Although, I do not understand lingala, the video brought forth the elements of a rich tradition, love, simplicity, freedom, and good times.
Another favorite song on the album is Mapendo. In literal translation from Kiswahili to English it means lovings. The basic concept of this song is love. He urges wandungu tupendane (brothers let’s love each other). His vocals are haunting on this particular number. You can actually touch the depth of his sincerity. Breathtaking!
Nkolo with its touch of flute in the background, which I first thought to be a harmonica is intensely tantalizing. I was watching an acoustic performance of the same, and a spiritual energy seemed to encapsulate the room. Before he begins to sing, the guitarists gaze at him as if absorbing the energy. Whew! Watch the video clip below.
He is a singer, songwriter, and composer from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the birthplace of lingala music. Born in 1958, to a Rwandese mother and a Congolese father. He assumed responsibility at a young age following the passing of his father in 1964.
As the eldest of eight children, he had to work to support his mother and siblings. He went to school part time, worked and sang in church. His undeniable musical gift was apparent from the very beginning, and carried on to his adolescent years.
His public foray into the music scene was through joining Abeti Maskini’s band a superstar in Congo in 1981 at the tender age of 22. He later went on to become an international superstar of great repute. His shared the stage with such greats from Africa as Youssou N’Dour, and foreign superstars such as Patrick Bruel.
He continues to wow, and impress audiences across Africa and Europe. I bow my head in honor of this son of Africa.
Bio information courtesy of Wrasse Records
Viva la Afrique!