Mose Fanfan

Mose Fanfan

BandWorld

The music of my youth, of my country, changed and shaped Africa in colonial times and in independence. This music is called rumba Congolaise, it never left my heart. Now I am amoung one of the few remaining practitioners, I want to refresh, revive and renew the great music of Congo. Rumba is my life

Biography

One of Africa's greatest guitarists, Mose Fanfan shot to fame in the late 1960s as 2nd lead guitar to the late 'Franco' Luambo Makaidi of OK Jazz – a group described by Mojo Magazine as 'perhaps the most important dance band in African history'; Mose Fanfan became instrumental in the development of the groups classic ‘rumba Congolaise’ sound. In 1974 Mose formed Somo Somo, a veritable super group of its day in Kinshasa. They officially released only 4 double sided 45rpms but this alone would secure the group cult status for evermore.
A restless innovator and an intrepid traveller, Mose went on to take long secondments outside former Zaire fulfilling recording contracts before settling in Tanzania for a period in the late 1970s. There, Mose became an important instigator in the now historic East African rumba scene. Mose worked with many legendary rumba groups of that time including household names such as Remmy Ongala and Orchestra Makassy.
An offer to travel to England in 1983 provided Mose with the opportunity to work with the new ‘soukous’ sound that was gaining popularity in Europe. In this period Mose recorded 3 solo albums with Stern’s Africa, the final being the now seminal soukous LP Hello Hello.
The late 1990s saw a giant leap in the progression of modern Congolese music with Mose’s Congo Acoustic. Lush acoustic guitars merge with jazz lines from horns and accordion topped off with warm belle canto vocals. With the release of Congo Acoustic Mose made it ‘ok’ to like rumba again, bringing a fresh new sound to classic rumba Congolaise Congo Acoustic also provided a platform for artists such as Kekele and Papa Noel to emerge.
In the follow up release – 2005’s Bayekeleye – the electric guitar made a return and Mose has shown yet again that there is no end to his imaginative compositional skills, layering guitar line after guitar line in a seemingly effortless creation of new Congolese musical tapestry.