The other day I blogged about the life and times of M'PONGO LOVE.
Today I will present to you MBILIA BEL.
featured on last week's show with YALOWA
MBILIA BEL - YALOWA
I found this website which maps out her career pretty well. I don't have to struggle to translate the page from French this time, haha. Anyway here is the site:
MBILIA BEL BIOGRAPHY
*that last line about her career spiraling down hill is kind of harsh. Her 2001 release WELCOME as well as her 2004 release BELISSIMO (which both received good reviews) prove that she's still a relevant force in the Congolese music scene.
Me, I'm 24 years old, I'll be 25 later on this year. I remember this music playing through much of my life especially in the '80s but I never really got into it. Being born in America, for us kids it was like the music from your parents country was 'old people' music. And basically if you didn't see it on tv you didn't really embrace it. Even today it's hard for me to introduce this music to my friends. They say it sounds like mexican music (lol) but when I tell them what the songs are about they love it. So imagine as a kid? We (me and I'm gonna speak for my siblings and cousins too) distanced ourselves from it to an extent. At weddings and parties we danced and sang along but every other day it was Yo Mtv Raps and BET.
Better Late Than Never
Today I'm so grateful to be able to appreciate this music. I've always liked it but to truly appreciate it and understand it and know this is what I come from really makes me proud. When I listen to Mbilia Bel and Mpongo Love it gives me a look into another side of my heritage making me even prouder still. I sing. Had I been born and raised in Kinshasa I have no doubt I would have been influenced by them. I might be a 'Tigress' de Soukous today haha.
I just (re)discovered these artists this past year. As I was researching Mbilia Bel online I came across this video on Youtube.com
The name of the song isn't listed but it's a beautiful song. I've played it a million times already:
Ya Mbilia is still making music today as well and at 48 years old she still has great moves! This song is called Les Z'on Dit:
O zosakana te' ee Tantine*? haha Peace to Ya Mbilia for still making great african music and for being an exceptional artist. ms bazu and Tambour D'Afrique salute you.
*You not playin hunh, Auntie? lol