Guys, I was so bummed when I heard about Papa Wemba’s death this past weekend. I had actually been listening to his “Best of” complilation album recently as part of my research for a post on Spanish influence in African music.
How best to describe Papa Wemba? An African musical icon who tried to introduce African (soukous, rhumba) sound to the world in a way that the world could understand and groove to? A fashion forward style icon that helped introduce well-dressed African sapeurs to the world (long before Solange, yes that Solange, even heard the word)? The man who discovered and nurtured Congolese superstar Koffi Olomide and helped bring him to world attention?
Africa, lost a great musical gem this weekend in Abidjan and I think it fitting that he died doing something he loved – performing before a live audience. May he rest in peace. His music shall live forever!!!
Here’s the link to a BBC article on What Made Papa Wemba So Influential, for more on this oh so fabulous man.