Benga veteran just won’t let the beat die Next Story
Entertainment news: Meladen Lounge, where Yumminess, entertainment meets Previous Story
You are here  » Home   » Entertainment

AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH BOZI BOZIANA: “My show will be explosive,” declares Bozi Boziana

By Caroline Nyanga | Published Tue, February 27th 2018 at 18:50, Updated February 27th 2018 at 19:01 GMT +3
Bozi Boziana in (blue jacket), promoter jules Nsana ( in black) bandleader Rumba Japan Vasco De Gama (in red) and two of Bozi's female dancers. During his visit in 2016

Renowned Congolese music genius Mbenzu Ngamboni Boskill, 67, popularly known as Bozi Boziana will stage a splendid concert at Nairobi’s Meladen Lounge on Saturday (March 3). The much anticipated event courtesy of Meladen Lounge and Nsana Promotions promises the best of entertainment.

Bozi during his past performance

 For Rumba and Lingala music lovers the place to be this Saturday will be at the newly refurbished club Meladen situated at Nairobi community area in Upper Hill.

Here, Congolese star, Bozi Boziana, regarded as one of the most successful guitarist, singer, and bandleader in the DRC will thrill revelers with some of his best songs backed up with a section of his band members and locally renowned Congolese band Rumba Japan. 

Curtain raiser will be locally renowned traditional music troupe Kenge Kenge who will use the opportunity to give revelers the best of entertainment hours before Bozi gets on stage to churn out his evergreen classic tunes comprising Rumba and Lingala tunes.

Bozi during his past performance

The event courtesy of Meladen Lounge and Nsana Promotions is expected to attract revelers from all walks of lives who will have the chance to watch arguably one of the best and consistent ballad singer among Congolese musicians, and most sought-after vocalists on the Lingala music scene.

The Paris-based artiste who jetted in the country aboard Kenya Airways last weekend  to touch base with his Kenyan fans  declares his show will be explosive.

Avoid fake news! Subscribe to the Standard SMS service and receive factual, verified breaking news as it happens. Text the word 'NEWS' to 22840

“This is one event you cannot miss out on. I expect my fans to ‘eat’ my music, which I believe is unique and different from what other musicians of Congolese origin have delivered in Kenya before.

Unlike my counterparts I have mastered the art of good music having been in the industry long enough,” says Bozi.

With gate charges pegged at Sh1000, the highly anticipated event is expected to attract revelers from all walks of lives who will have an opportunity to sample the best of music which boast of unique fusion and a more contemporary feel of Lingala.

Bozi during a past interview at Radio Maisha

He reveals that Kenyan will be the first to be treated to his latest album Fiko Fikofio among other songs.

Groomed through Zaiko Langa Langa - Bozi has stamped his authority in the international entertainment scene proving he is indeed a force to reckon with.

The musician who has been to Nairobi several times owing to great public demand, his last performance being 2016, to underline the fact that the DR Congo remains the sanctuary of African music. And that Kinshasa still has plenty of talent ready to replace such fallen greats among them Franco, Tabu Ley, Ndombe Opetum and Madilu System says he is delighted to be in Kenya which has become his ‘second home’ owing to its immense love for Congolese music and the friendly nature of its people.”

So what should Kenyan fans expect during his much anticipated concert?

Credited for his strong vocals, sweet voice and scintillating beats Bozi says he will use the opportunity to explore Rumba and Soukous at its best.

"Our fans should expect nothing short of our internationally acclaimed evergreen hit songs among them Double Double and Selemani that will take them down memory lane," says Bozi.

“I want my fans to know that I am ready to give them the best - something that will enable them sick back, relax as they get to enjoy the best of some of my evergreen tunes and latest dance styles.” 

kenge kenge 2

The multiple award winner for Best Congolese Artiste with more than ten albums under his cap says his songs are aimed at entertaining, educating and passing on messages to the community. 

The musician who has been busy staging shows in various places among them France, Zambia, Congo Brazaville, Angola, Zimbabwe says he has no intention of quitting music adding that music has been a big part of him ever since he was a child

Considered one of the smoothest tenors among Congolese Bozi says his mission is to recast original soukous and rumba music to come up with what he describes as “universal Congo music.”

“I strongly believe this is the kind of music that has and will still continue to be appreciated by many generations to come.

While he supports efforts by the younger generation of Congolese musicians to be innovative, he is disheartened by the fact that some of them lack creativity.

“For a while now Congolese musicians have lacked good leadership and guidance as far as good serious music goes. Mine is therefore, to restore the long lost glory of rumba music.”

The anonymous side of Bozi:

Regarded one of the most successful guitarist, singer, and bandleader in the DRC, his fifth album, Bana Saint-Gabriel, received a KORA award for All-African award in 1998 in the Central African category.

Hailing from a polygamous family, the first born in a family of 22, born to Mr Mbenzo Loui and Mayenga Josephine (both deceased). Bozi says music has always been a big part of him ever since he was at Bosanga Schools in Congo.

“At 16, I joined Air Marine, an Afro-pop band in Congo.”

Since then Bozi worked with several major soukous bands, including  Minzoto Wela Wela, Zaiko Langa Langa, Bamboula de Papa Noel, Minzoto Sangela, Isifi Lokole, Yoka Lokole, Langa Langa Stars and Choc Stars, before he founded his own 18 member band, Orchestre Anti-Choc in 1985. The latter has continuously enjoyed fame in the music industry commanding a huge following both at home and abroad.

“The name ‘Anti-Choc’ was intended to emphasize my heritage from Zaiko Langa Langa (as this band was also informally known as ‘Tout-Choc Anti-Choc Zaiko Langa Langa.”

Some of the artistes he has also worked with include Papa Wemba, Evoloko Jocker, Mavuela Somo and Efonge Gina. 

Career well spelt:

With a career spanning 48 years Bozi joined Zaiko Langa Langa, one of the most influential congolese bands ever where he alongside soukous stars Papa Wemba and Evoloko Jocker before quitting to form Isifi Lokole and later Yoka Lokole.

kenge kenge 2

Despite its success, Papa Wemba quit in 1976 to create Viva la Musica. Yoka Lokole later lost its popularity forcing Bozi to quit in 1977, but teamed up with Efonge Gina, (another member of Zaiko Langa Langa), to record hits such as Selemani (credited to Bozi) and Libanko Ya Ngai (Gina).

In 1981 he joined Langa Langa Stars, before moving to Choc Stars, in 1985 and recorded some of his most famous songs like Sandu Kotti, Alena, Mbuta-Mutu, and Retrouvailles a Paris. He later quit to form his own band Orchestre Anti-Choc.