Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 25 February 2021


  • Gregory F. Barz


Generic term for Central African dance music. More specifically in the Democratic Republic of Congo (see Congo, Democratic Republic of the §III 4. ) soukous refers to a dance style first popularized in the late 1960s. The style developed directly from Congolese rumba that was introduced in the 1950s. The first period of soukous in the 1960s can be characterized by heavy arrangements; highly orchestrated horns and vocals fill the sounds of early soukous, while large numbers of guitars and rhythm instruments support these arrangements. Tabu Ley Rochereau, Dr Nico (seeKasanda, nicolas), Kiamanguana Verckys, Sam Mangwana and Joseph ‘le Grand Kalle’ Kabasele contributed greatly to early soukous efforts. A second wave of soukous occurred in the 1970s led by the group Zaiko Langa Langa and by Papa Wemba and Bozi Boziana, both former members of Langa Langa. Groups such as Quatres Etoiles and artists such as Mbilia Bel and Abeti Masekini were at the forefront of these new Paris-based recording efforts. In the 1980s there was a broadening of the international ...

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Please subscribe to access the full content.