January 28, 2023

AWILO ‘caught’ in Dakar, opens up on career

•Says no regrets going solo 


Remember legendary Congolese highlife musician, Awilo Longomba who held the music world spellbound in the 90s? 

The superstar opened up to us exclusively on what he was doing to encourage young musicians in his country, saying “I recently floated a record label to provide a platform for them to showcase their talents.”

He also said that he had no regrets whatsoever embarking on solo musical career 28 years ago.

The Congolese superstar who spoke in a chat with our reporter at the just concluded All Africa Music Awards, in Dakar, Senegal, described his musical journey as ‘eventful’.  Awilo said he was happy that he took the decision to embark on a solo career at the time he did.

“I started as a drummer before embarking on a solo career, releasing my first album, ‘Moto Pamba’ in 1995. And since then I have never looked back and I have no regret taking those bold steps,” said Awilo.

The superstar, however, promised to drop an album this year. His last album, “Kafou Kafou”, which he released in 2000 earned him a prize at the Kora Awards for the third time in 2001.

“I haven’t released an album for a long time. But this year, I am going to drop an album,” he hinted.

On encouraging young Congolese singers, the ageless singer said “I have floated Awilo Record label. We have many young talents in Congo, and through my record label I intend to groom my successors in the music circuit. I will do my best to guide and mentor them.”

The Congolese soukous singer ruled the airwaves in the late 80s with his songs which cut across cultural boundaries. He won the hearts of millions of music lovers across the world, especially in Nigeria with his monotonous but infectious songs and sexy dance steps.

Awilo released his debut album, “Moto Pamba” after embarking on a solo career in 1995. He followed it up with “Coupé Bibamba” which he released in 1998, and earned him accolades across the world.