lundi 14 avril 2008

A Statement About Kuduro: An Angolan Point of View

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Earlier today, Toke posted that comment on my post "Kuduro - One Year Later". I thought it's important enough that we'll put it back as a post, and not let it getting buried in a few month old comment section. Toke is talking about many issues that I pointed out in my post. And I'm really glad to hear that Kuduro is still big in Luanda and that scene is slowly shaping up. Toke, I'm also wondering why Cape Verdian is a joke to Angolan? Why Helder is a thief and if your opinion on Frédéric Galliano's work is also the same on a band like Buraka Som Sistema (see latest video).

Many thanks to Toke for his input, please visit his blog

Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 21:04:00 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [MASALA] Nouveau commentaire sur Kuduro - One Year Later (kuduro series).
Toke a ajouté un nouveau commentaire sur votre message blog "Kuduro - One Year Later (kuduro series)" :

Hello there,
my name is Toke, I live in Angola, Luanda, where I've been borned.

I've comed here through Likembe blog link.

I'm a adio producer, speaker, and dj everywhere through Luanda's nights.
(strait from cd-r street kuduro sellers to your hard drive, the angolan guetho musicians that have no commercial contract but that everybody is listening in the partys, taxis, bus, or in the street - kuduro rulles in luanda's caotic automobile trafic) - Site rebuilding.
I'm a big kuduro collector and I'ved a kuduro site that have been damaged by the server and that I'm rebuilding (slowly as my 256kbps connection allows).

Being kuduro born in Luanda in the early 90's, and in the middle of the heaviest african civil war that will end only in 2002, it was very hard to produce and present kuduro records and live shows until six years ago.

The things are changing for best, now days, but what is really happening is that only a few of angolans kuduro entertainners have a professional record contract and some international projection.

By the other way, angolans still remains crazy by kuduro scene and dance, and all over Luanda city, cd-rs are popuping from the big guethos youth, whom are in a prolific way recording studio demos, or home demos, that sometimes become huge national hits.

But, as the majority of those local artists do not have any contract, they do not have structure to expand they work world wide.

Anyway, this artists only profits come from local live shows that unespected succes provides, and by hand to hand selling of cd-rs, once that they are ripped off by angolan radios that do not pay any incoming; by local djs who grew a international fame without any credits to the real authors of the beats; and by europeans and non europeans djs, as we all know, due to the lake of information and blabla... at the same time taking avantage and promoting guetho angolan kids. That's great! view the state of things.

Proudly and warrior angolan kuduro moovement do not considere Lisbon kuduro, as Helder Rei do kuduro, as other thing than pure robery.

We, angolans indulgently laught if someone speaks about cap verdian kuduro!

"Galliano kuduro" (lol) - it has the merit of promote the angolan style, with some deviances, and non kuduro beats, but it's a great job. It 's a great job for him too, not only for the angolan music that he use at a "no price".

There is only one kuduro beat and moovement, and it is Luanda's almost five millions habitants that mark that beat with an incredible fast and caotic car trafic, popping kuduro all over the town, all over the day with the naif smile of guetho childrens.

Today, angolan guetho kuduro moovement is strong in Luanda, and more and more youngs achieve a minimal record contract.

By the stylistic point of view, now days guetho kuduro it's going more mczided than the old kuduro, whom where more instrumental than spoked.

Mainstream angolan kuduro artist as Dog Murras, Sebém, Puto Prata and others have allready notest that word spoked inflection.

Thank you for your time and excuses for the lenght of the explanation in these non corrected almost english words.

Anyway, for me it's amazing and very interesting to read your opinions and reflections about this style of music from my homeland!

All the best to you,
hope everything's going right.

+ De Kuduro Sur Masala

7 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit...

This is interesting. I did wrote about Kuduro on Benn loxo du taccu and similar comments were made. But what jumps out to me is the national (and ghetto) pride that exists with this music. Someone pointed to Cape Verdian Kuduro and someone commented that it is not real Kuduro. Check those comments, and my initial thoughts here:

samim a dit...

Thanks for the comment, very interesting insights. I´m keen on seeing how the further development will be. The exchange between artists, thinkers and activists from different cultural, geographic and economic backgrounds is accelerating, with the Internet as a main force in the struggle to overcome these traditional boundaries.
I´m going to play live in Angola next month for the first time, really exited about it. I hope to find the time to stay for a few days and get to know the people, culture and music in-depth.

Khiasma / Guillaume a dit...

About "National pride", I think it's a usual thing that happens with music, or more generally with cultural production, when there's a strong identification of something being "from here". I always found it interesting that french people from France have great pride about the "Chanson Française" (chanson from Québec is very rarely considered), and the fact that, on the other hand, French Chanson is classified as world music in the anglophone countries.

Samim, please inform us of your trip!

Toke a dit...

Khiasma / Guillaume, thanks very much for your attention and action.

I've started this site about kuduro two years ago in a plan of angolan music of all ages and all styles diffusion called (Muxima Angola hare kimbundo words to Angola in the heart)

One year ago the server delete or damaged all my files and I've been mad, try to handle it and didn't succeed.

Two weeks ago I delete the site and try to crete another with the same name and it works!

I saw in the Top Referrers in the past week a link to where I've read so many accurate ideas, and from there I arrive here.

And I'm truly amazed!!! I'm reading the articles and dowloading yours mixes or the proposed mixes, and never thought that could have this interest over kuduro.

We are used to Portugal djs demanding it but, here in Angola, we had, or at least, I have had no idea of international attention and connaissance in a spreaded scale like this! Included Australia!, as I see in kuduro stats site.

You've said: "Toke, I'm also wondering why Cape Verdian is a joke to Angolan?"

I've said: "We, angolans indulgently laught if someone speaks about cap verdian kuduro!"

It is not the same said, it is?

I never heard about cap verdian kuduro produced at Cap Vert! Maybe produced at Lisbon by young luso-cap verdians, as for instance some members of Buraka Som Sistema and plenty of others at Portugal.

So, if I indulgent smile is less over cap verdians than over those who speak about what I never heard about.

You asked: "Why Helder is a thief"
In the middle of the nineties, when Sebém start to be big he has done the track "A Felicidade". This is the first huge kuduro ever to take true attention over Portugal djs and public. It was infectious big hit.
A major label in Portugal, sign with the unknown Helder, and produce that track "A Felicidade" as if it was an Helder original.

You can imagine Sebém spirits... By the other way, Helder who lives in Lisbon since he was a child, soit-disant Rei do Kuduro (King of Kuduro), is a perfect unknow and never had a single hit here in Angola!

Anyway, ten years late, Sebém and Helder are now friends, and I guess I have something there with both in the same record singing together!

You said: "...and if your opinion on Frédéric Galliano's work is also the same on a band like Buraka Som Sistema"

I never eard an angolan complaining about messieur Galliano. First, because allmost nobody here knows nothing about him. And those who knows who he is are glad because he's spreading kuduro where and in a way, we angolans would not do it.

It is true that, we angolans imediatly feel when an angolan sound it's mixed with another country sound, but that's a good thing, to see our own music in an international plateau.

So, I never hear an angolan complaint; only foreigners complaints where the complainteurs said that messie Galliano is making a reputation with others talents, and gaining revenues by the same way.

And, if those allegations are right, or nearly right, that doesn't matter because what it counts it is his excelent work of kuduro divulgation all over the worl.

Buraka it's another story. Is a sort of euro-kuduro, as there it hare the euro-rock, euro-dance (do you remember Modern Talking? Brrrr!!!)

Buraka it's the case when the copy becomes if not better than the original at least more reputeded than the original, where sometimes, this original, can be ignored or forgoted.

I really like what Buraka does because it's more sofisticated electronic stuff, more polished. By the other way it's less strenghtiest than angolan kuduro.

About that liaison between the end of war and the kuduro speach... I woul like to remember that kuduro im Angola starts to make sound around 91 with Bruno de Castro instrumentals, and that the angolan civil war ended in 2002, a decade later.

So, I do not see how to suport the idea that the end of war is the animic starter for kuduro racines, once this temporal gap in the analysis.

Kuduro starts when Angola was official comunist country, there where only one radio station for all the country, no private commercial studios, but that's another story to tell, maybe here.

Thanks once again for all your kindnes, and sorry for the verborraic explanation, as usual.


Toke a dit...

Hello Saimin!
You've said that you'll came to play live here next month. Please contact me, because I'm organizing the 20th festival anniversary of a theatre company im May, and maybe we can have a space for you, or invite you to be just around, if you want.


Kan a dit...


To stay updated on whats happening in Mozambique.

Soul cocina links to this Mozambican music blog with young local beats.

Khiasma / Guillaume a dit...

Hey Kan, thanks for the link

On Kuduro, I went to the shop I'm getting Kuduro from in Paris. It's a Cap Verdian store that sells all kind of african music called La Rumba Africaine. The woman who owns the store told me that the only cds they would get to sell are the cds that couldn't be sold in Angola. According to her, Angolan are only focusing on national market and don't care about international demand. But on the other hand, Kuduro is big in youth african immigrants in Paris, which is a un-satisfied demand for new sounds. Cap Verdian are smart she said, they're satisfying the demand and start to do kuduro for angolan, cap verdian and comorian youth in Paris, but it's only on cdrs or mp3s, rarely a proper release with a record label.