Say hello to Jambo Jambo’s Congolese sounds
2017-07-18 11:19:28 -
By Natalie Kayton

Jambo Jambo – Swahili for ‘hello, hello’ - are here to say hello with their debut album Kisisi Kitia.

Band members Greg Kalala and Tshibo Prince released the album on Saturday 8 July and are excited to see how Ireland reacts to their music.

The Congolese band has a dynamic way of illustrating music, playing different rhythms such as salsa, soukous, makossa and rhumba. They are excited to have created an album from music they have been playing in pubs, mainly in Dublin city centre’s Temple Bar district.

Though the band was formed in Dublin, both Kalala and Prince are immigrants from Africa. Kalala has been in Ireland for 30 years and is an artist, while Prince moved to Ireland in 2005 and is also in another band.

The two met in 2015 and have been working together since, though at first they struggled to find musical collaborators. Some were busy, others far away (Fefe Mazingu, a friend who lives in France and performs with the group Congomania, contributes to a number of songs) while others yet misunderstood what they were trying to achieve with the band. Because of this, it was a full year before their songs were finished in the studio.

Kalala brings up one prospective bandmate who did not join them because of his family’s disapproval for Jambo Jambo’s secular, fun-loving tunes. “[They would ask] ‘How can you play such music?’” he says.

Both musicians emphasise that Jambo Jambo preach love in their songs. But even at that, Kalala says it was a challenge creating an identity for he band.
“Love is general,” says Prince. “Everyone is a lover. Love is making peace.”

The album has five songs, including the ‘Kisisi Kitia’, ‘Meu Amor’, ‘Ololu Femi’, ‘Exploitation’ and an instrumental reprise of the title track. Each is sung in a different language, but all talk about love and what it means.
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