Hi everyone,

It’s our great pleasure to celebrate the 70 years of the legendary band, the Bakolo Music International with a gift of 3 songs that were recorded in the most natural way, real live during a rehearsal. To all those who have supported us, THANK YOU!

These 3 songs are awesome, and each one deserves its own story:


When Jean-Serge Essous from the Brazzavilian Bantous de la Capitale came back from his trip to the French Antilles, he brought with him some songs he rearranged on his own way. « Philosophie » is a Biguine song composed by Gérard Laviny and arranged by Jean-Serge Essous. It is said that a new musical style : Zouk, was originated during Jean-Serge Essous stay in the  Antilles (1966-1971), from a spicy mix of Rumba, Biguine and Soukouss.


Ngange is one of the last songs composed by Bikunda Nzofu, the leader of BMI. The song means « Fetichist » or « Sorcerer » in Teke language.

Awela Boruma

Composed by Willy Nzoku, this song is a tribute to Plump Ladies!





In Leopoldville, 1948, singer Antoine “Wendo” Kolosoyi formed a group he called Victoria Kin. The group recorded numerous 78 r.p.m. discs for the famous Ngoma Label Records, one of the first studios in Kinshasa.

©Jean Depara

70 years after, the group makes its come back with:

  • A European tour starting the 12th of May 2018 in Langonet, French Britain
  • The release of a full album in November
  • A brand new Bakolo documentary film, directed by Tom Vantorre, will be released in December


BMI underwent several name changes over the years, later known as Victoria Bakolo Miziki, and then Bakolo Miziki International under President Mobotu. In 1999, they returned to the stage with Wendo Kolosoy, who had since been rediscovered by Christian Mousset, and performed several world tours until his death in 2008. The group continued on in his memory and composed new songs.

Two films about the lives of Wendo Kolosoy and Bakolo Music International were produced in 1993 (Tango Ya Ba Wendo, Mirko Popovitch & Kwami Mambu Zinga) and 2007 (On the Rumba River – Wendo, Jacques Sarasin), and a third film is set for release in 2018 as the final chapter of the trilogy.

In 2016, the group recorded a single “Ngange” (meaning ‘sorcerer’ in Teke Language) and the band will release a full album in early 2018.

Bakolo Music International showcases the original roots rumba atmosphere and sounds found in Kinshasa in the 50s. Their music describes the adventures of a group of old friends who are still playing and composing old rumba melodies together, after having lived through hard and good times.


L’année 2018 commence par une bonne nouvelle! Nous sommes heureux de vous annoncer que le Fond Culturel Sud est partenaire du projet d’enregistrement du support sonore du plus ancien groupe de Rumba Congolaise encore actif à Kinshasa: Les Bakolo Music International. La sortie de l’album est prévue pour Novembre 2018.

Par le biais de garanties de déficit et de subventions aux projets, le Fonds culturel Sud soutient des productions et des manifestations impliquant des artistes en provenance d’Afrique, d’Asie, d’Amérique latine et d’Europe de l’Est (pays non membres de l’UE). L’objectif de ces activités de soutien est de faciliter aux artistes issus du Sud et de l’Est – en particulier de pays partenaires de la coopération au développement suisse – l’accès au marché culturel suisse ainsi qu’à un réseau professionnel.

Bakolo Music International is on the last Rhythm Passport compilation and we are delighted to share it with you!

« Santa’s elves have stuffed Santa’s bag full of great tunes and he’s just delivered 50 minutes of the freshest music from all over the world… and you know that when we say “all over the world”, we really mean it.rp-december-compilation-cover-layers

In fact, by downloading (for FREE) the 20th instalment of Rhythm Passport’s compilation, you’ll enjoy quintessential Nigerian Afrobeat, Venezuelan traditional singing, original Congolese rumba from the BAKOLO MUSIC INTERNATIONAL, Brazilian electro-Batucada (with an Italian twist), Malian electrified griot music, urban hip-hop with a Mexican dancy attitude, Jamaican rocksteady meets salsa, and much, much more. »

Turn on your speakers and have groovy holidays!






One of the world’s top rumba bands is enjoying a renaissance in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has produced some of Africa’s most creative musicians. Among the top performers is Bakolo Music International, the oldest Congolese rumba band. VICE News correspondent Melanie Gouby met them.

“Congolese people are very inspired by music,” says the band’s singer Willy Nzofu. “It is something natural, in our blood.”


Véronique Moufflet nous emmène danser une belle rumba congolaise, le temps d’un shooting avec les Bakolo Music International. Elle a accompagné le groupe Bakolo Music International dans ses répétitions et a saisi les couleurs et l’intensité des mouvement de la diva de la rumba congolaise de Kinshasa, Isabelle Matondo.  La rumba congolaise issue des danses latines joue avec les relations entre hommes et femmes. La rumba montre les mouvements d’attraction et de rejet entre l’homme et la femme avec des mouvements érotiques et sensuels et des mouvements de hanche parfois très complexes.

Le rythme de la « rumba » se compte en 4 temps. Le pas de base consiste à faire un pas sur chacun des 3 premiers temps et une suspension sur le dernier temps. Il faut deux mesures pour faire une boite complète.


bakolo music international Eloisa d'OrsiEloisa d’Orsi visited Kinshasa in 2015 to make a webdocumentary. Captivated by the original music of the Congolese rumba pionners, the Bakolo Music International orchestra, she made a shooting in the band’s rehearsal space, somewhere in a surburb of the sprawling capital of the Democratic republic of Congo.

Born in France in 1977, after her classical studies between Turin and Paris and the first encounter with photography, she attended the faculty of Literature and Philosophy at the University of Seville and Turin, where she graduated in Visual Anthropology, with a research thesis on the life of indigenous people in Mato Grosso. In 2001, she did an internship at Magnum Photos in Paris and one at Vu agency as photo-editor for the international press, working on the book Open Wound: Chechnya 1994-2003 (Stanley Green for Trolley Books).
After years working as a photographer, she currently lives between Milan and Barcelona, where she works as a freelance photojournalist and collaborate with CAMERA – Centro Italiano per la Fotografia where she work in the educational as assistant in workshops with photographers like Alex Webb, Jerome Sessini, Jean Gaumy, Jonas Bendiksen, and for LINKE. Printing Lab and Gallery in Milan .


Voir les photos