Music Culture Wednesdays Vol.3

Every Wednesday I will be introducing great kizomba singers from the PALOP community that usually don’t receive the recognition they deserve.

Kizomba music comes from all over the PALOP community, not just Angola. All mixes between Zouk and Afro Rhythms (not to be confused with Afro-House) are normally called kizomba, amongst PALOPS, regardless if the artists or bands are from Guiné-Bissau, Cabo-Verde, São Tomé and Prince, Mozambique or even the Congo (which is not a PALOP country).

Today I will be talking about Justino Delgado, an artist from my beloved country Guiné-Bissau.  The music of Guiné-Bissau is most widely associated with polyrhythmic gumbe, the country’s primary musical exportation, tina and tinga are also popular genres followed by meia-batida, Guiné-Bissau’s version of Afro-zouk, better known as kizomba.

Justino Delgado was born in Bubaque, an island of Guiné-Bissau.  He often considered the true music ambassador of Guiné-Bissau, regardless of the popularity of Tabanka Djaz.

Justino was a member of the popular band Africa Livre and later created his own band called Dokolma.  He was once arrested for criticizing the dead former president João Bernardo Vieira in his music, expressing his socio-political views as is common with many artists.  Justino’s songs are always a mix between traditional rhythms and instruments with modern instrumentals.  His songs are very rich because of that diversity.

Justino’s version of semba: Fidjus Na Da Fuga

A great example of mixing traditional and modern instruments for a lovely kizomba: Tetete

I personally love this kizomba: Nha Fianca

This can be considered kizomba but there is a huge influence of gumbe: Nha Fidjos

Gumbe, the traditional music from Guiné-Bissau, which will help you understand the rhythmic influences in Guiné-Bissau’s version of zouk and kizomba: Sabulema

NOTE: PALOP – Portuguese-speaking African countries, also referred to as Lusophone Africa, consists of six African countries in which the Portuguese language is an official language: Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe. Besides having a common language, the five former colonies of the Portuguese Empire share a strong “cultural identity, a similar system of governance and a long tradition of contacts and exchanges amongst themselves”. In 1992, the five Lusophone African countries formed an interstate organization called PALOP, a colloquial acronym that translates to African Countries of Portuguese Official Language (In Portuguese: Países Africanos de Língua Oficial Portuguesa). The PALOP countries signed official agreements with Portugal, the European Union and the United Nations, and they work together to promote the development of culture and education and the preservation of the Portuguese language. Together with Portugal and Brazil in 1996, the Portuguese-speaking African countries established the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (Portuguese: Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa, abbreviated to CPLP).

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