Artist picture of Lokua Kanza

Lokua Kanza

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Artist's top tracks

Lisanga Richard Bona, Lokua Kanza, Gerald Toto 06:48
Tout va bien Lokua Kanza 03:32
Where I Came From Richard Bona, Lokua Kanza, Gerald Toto 03:31
M'aa Kiana Gerald Toto, Richard Bona, Lokua Kanza 03:41
I Believe In You Lokua Kanza 03:35
Mbiffe Lokua Kanza 04:01
Voir Le Jour Lokua Kanza 03:54
Ma Mama Gerald Toto, Richard Bona, Lokua Kanza 03:42
Shadow Dancer Lokua Kanza 03:32
Plus Vivant Lokua Kanza, Corneille 03:35

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Biography

Lokua Kanza is a singer-songwriter who performs in French, Swahili, Lingala, Portuguese and English. Noted for songs that cause audiences to reflect rather than get up and dance, the artist draws on the musical heritage of his homeland known formerly as Zaire. Born in an eastern province of what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kanza grew up in Kinshasa where he learned to play the guitar as he took part-time jobs to help support his family after his sailor father died at sea. He studied at the Kinshasa Music Conservatory and played and sang in local bar bands before he moved to Paris to study jazz.

At 22, he joined the band of Abeti, whose fame had spread outside of Zaire, and he worked for a time in the Ivory Coast. Kanza has performed with artists such as Papa Wemba, Franky Vincent, Ray Lema, Angélique Kidjo and the Soul Makossa Gang. His self-titled debut album in 1994 won acclaim and after his second, 'Wapi Yo', the following year, in 1996 he was named Africa's most promising male artist at the KORA All Africa Music Awards.

Much in demand in France, he has toured in many other countries including America, Brazil, Bulgaria and the UK. Four more albums followed and he made a guest appearance on Natalie Merchant's 1998 album 'Ophelia'. His most recent release, 'Nkolo' in 2010, featured his trademark melancholy mood.