Le Voyageur

Papa Wemba

Released 12 April 1992

  1. Maria Valencia
  2. Lingo Lingo
  3. Le Voyageur
  4. Ombela
  5. Jamais Kolonga
  6. Matinda
  7. Yoko
  8. Madilamba
  9. Zéro

Liner notes

The high-pitched, and often melancholy, tone of Wemba’s beautiful singing style is reminiscent of his traditional and rural beginnings in Kassa and of his mother, who sang traditional mourning songs for the deceased.

During the 1960s, Wemba received musical training of the highest order in Kinshasa, with legends like Tabu Ley Seigneur Rochereau and Jean Bosco Mwenda.

A younger generation of musicians, however, were intent on rebelling against the traditional rhumba style. Rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll and soul became part of the musical vocabulary of Zaïrean youth, and Wemba was a founding member of this new wave.

This album is a synthesis of true Zaïrean feeling, with sounds and structures that are immediately accessible to the Western ear – the mark of a truly mature musician.

Listen

Further Listening

  • Emotion

    Papa Wemba

    Released 13 March 1995

    Fresh and daring as ever, this world-class singer continues his ascendancy to global notoriety with total emotional impact. A brilliant blast of pop and dance rhythms make up the brightest, most accessible album of Papa Wemba’s career.
  • Babeti Soukous

    Tabu Ley Seigneur Rochereau

    Released 04 June 1989

    Featuring a selection of the best songs from his huge back catalogue, this recording by the Zairean soukous artist was made one cold night in January, with an audience of friends and invitees dancing and clapping in the minstrel gallery of Real World Studio's Wood Room.

Further reading

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The long-awaited follow up to their 2017 critically-acclaimed debut is out on 24 January 2020.

4 shows to check out at this year’s Celtic Connections festival

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18 voices on the new album by Les Amazones d’Afrique

Amazones Power, their second album, features voices from Africa and the diaspora.