MUSIC SPOTLIGHT, CELEBRATING AWILO LONGOMBA FROM CONGO

Awilo Longomba was born in Kinshasa (formally, Léopoldville). His father was from the Mongo region of the Ecuador and his mother was also from the Ecuador region of Ngombe and Congo Brazzaville. His father, Vicky Longomba, was the famous lead singer and founder of “Tout puissant OK Jazz” during the golden age of Congolese rumba, had a big influence on our artist. Since childhood, Awilo spent every waking moment in the music scenes attending his father’s rehearsals. Very quickly his passion for music grew, and instead of going to classes, he started drumming for various groups of Kinshasa, including “l’orchestre de Lita Bembo. He joined the orchestra “Viva La Musica” led by the great Papa Wemba as a drummer, and Awilo had his real first taste of live performance on his first international tour in Europe and to Japan in 1985 and 1986.

As the fever he caught during his tour grew stronger, he decided to pursue his artistic carrier and moved to France. His reputation as one of the best drummers in France spread very quickly. This allowed him to collaborate on numerous records and toured worldwide with several African artists such as Tshala MuanaOliver NgomaKanda Bongo Man just to name a few.

But Awilo’s ambition didn’t stop there. In 1992 he decided to leave “Viva La Musica” and formed his own group “La Nouvelle Génération” of which he became the leader. This new band became very popular in Europe and produced several albums.

In 1995, the career of Awilo, the singer, took off and he left “La Nouvelle Génération”. He released his first solo album “Moto Pamba” in which he was the composer, the lead singer and of course the drummer. The Techno-Soukous star was born. His success couldn’t be ignored! He finally put the drums down and decided to concentrate on his singing and started touring in East Africa and in Europe. This first CD landed him the “Best Central Africa Artist Awards” at the KORA AWARDS 1996 and 1997 (All Africa Music Awards, held in Sun City, South Africa)

Since then, it has been non-stop for Awilo. His second round in the studio validated his popularity. He released “Coupé Bibamba”, in 1998 with the collaboration of Jocelyne Bérouard. The controversial title cut “Coupé Bibamba” that denounces poverty in Africa with catchy song lines: Comment tu t’appelles? Je m’appelle… Coupé Coupé Bibamba! The title hits the number 1 spot on the African and European charts very quick and stayed for several weeks. Several titles from the same CD followed.

In July 2000, Awilo released his third CD “Kafou Kafou” this CD sent him back to the KORA 2001 where Awilo was recognized for his outstanding contribution to African music and received “Judges Special Awards” during the KORA 2001.

Awilo is the MOST WANTED Congolese artists on the African continent and Europe. He has toured in African counties such as Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Zambia, Gabon, Mali etc…). Awilo also has toured in Europe (Switzerland, Belgium, Great Britain etc…) as well as the United States.

His talent received notoriety when Sony music requested a remix funk version of his “Coupé bibamba” with James D-Train to be included in the compilation “Tribute to the Funk” released in June 2003 and became a summer hit. The remix will also be included in “African Dance Floor” compilation. Awilo also performed at Zenith concert hall in Paris with other American artists (Jocelyn BrownAnita WardImagination…) who were part of the compilation.

Awilo has once again demonstrated his talent by producing his latest CD “Mondongo”. It is an electrifying blend of kompas, rumba, R&B and soukouss… with the collaboration of other great African artists such as Lokua Kanza, “Mondongo” is a guaranteed success!.

 

AWILO

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About Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Eastern Europe and Nigeria and has visited over 18 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for three years in a row (2013,2014 and 2015). He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World On Wednesday the 30th of October 2013, Tony Tokunbo Fernandez organised his biggest event ever- The Black History Month Celebration at the House of Parliament. The Special Guest on the day was The Minister for Sports and Equalities MP Helen Grant and Key Community Ambassadors in The Black Community
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