I think I found the ideal destination for my next holidays: Luanda in Angola! In general conversations, when people mention Angola, they talk to you about all the opportunities you can have there as the country developed really fast over the past years thanks to an economic boom related to oil and minerals. Or, they will talk to you about the westernizing lifestyle of the Angolan bourgeoisies as Luanda (the capital of Angola), is among the most expensive cities in the world. Although it might be interesting to experience and witness the rapid development of this central African country, my focus is on the streets of Luanda and its musical culture.
I discovered Angolan music only about a year or two ago when the Angolan boys band Os Detroia released the summer hit ‘Bela‘. I couldn’t understand a word of what they were singing, but Lord, that beat made me mad. I danced on that song until I could no longer bear it. A few months ago, I encountered once more Angolan music but through another boys band: Os Banah with their major hit “Kapri”. From then, I started paying more attention to their music questioning myself about why was Angolan music still underground or unknown to the rest of the continent when they produce great things.
Angolan music is very particular compared to the other genres of music from the continent that I have come across. What principally distinguishes Angolan music to that of the rest of the continent is the beat. In Angola, they produce two major types of music: Kuduro, and Afro house. London-Luanda producer BreY once described Kuduro in an interview as a “style [that] emerged in the early 80s, with 4/4 electronic beats being layered over traditional Lusophonic and Caribbean samples.”. The rhythmic beats that result from this production process are usually accompanied either by the voices of MCs who with simple words will just enhance the beauty of the rhythm or by rappers who will accompany the beats with their flow to make it more dancing. On the other hand, Afro house is the term used for African house music. Whereas DJs who produce house music are mainly Europeans who make electro with samples of African songs, Afro house is a concept initiated by African DJs (in this case Lusophone) that englobes music and new dances creating a whole new music culture.
From these explanations and descriptions, you can start to sense how boiling, dynamic and vivid the streets of Luanda are. After I was introduced to the beatmaker Gaia through the song ‘Sapeleme‘ via a friend’s Snapchat not long ago, I have decided to do further research and this how I ended up writing this article. Kuduro and Afro house have these beats that just make you want to break out and dance like you have never danced before. So for you, I have selected some of the best Kuduro and Angolan Afro house music that one could find on Youtube.
The playlist includes artists and beat makers such as: Gaia, Staff Paulo, Os Banah, DJ Romano, The Groove, DJ Valdo and many more, so ENJOY and don’t forget to share and subscribe for more updates!