Soukous musicians Koffi Olomide and Petit Rossi have released a new song paying homage to the late king of Congolese rumba Papa Wemba.
The Congolese President Joseph Kabila posthumously awarded Papa Wemba with one of the country’s highest honours. He was commended for the “merits and eminent services rendered to the Congolese nation.”
During the early stages of his career in the early 70s, Papa Wemba established a style that included traditional Congolese rumba and soukous, infused with traditional African sounds, Caribbean rhythms, rock and soul.
In the early 80 he achieved more of an “eclectic sound” in his work influenced by western popular music.
As a teenager, he used to sing in the choir of a local Roman Catholic Church.
Speaking about this transition in his music, Papa Wemba told the publication African Business in 2004. “When I started singing pop music, I left religious music completely. But there was always the influence of religious music on my voice because, with religious music, the minor key always recurs. When I compose songs, I often use the minor key.”
Watch “Hommage a Papa Wemba” by Koffi Olomide and Petit Rossi