We travel all the way to the Democratic Republic of Congo putting a spotlight on a son of Africa. Award winning Congolese pop singer, songwriter and guitarist, entertainer named a prodigy who lives for his time without forgetting his roots recording mostly in French and crossing over to thousands of English speaking fans with his entrancing dance moves, beats and rhythms. He’s got a few aliases “Di Caprio”, “Anelka”, “The Great One” among others just like many other Congolese stars
If you are a big fan of this Congolese singer, you already know he’s the most active artist in his country. The first Congolese artist of his generation to attempt an adventurous musicals combining innovation and tradition in his music while combating poverty and inequality around the world! DRUM ROLLS!!! It’s no other person but Fally Ipupa!
How does he do all of that though? With his silky smooth voice, he has conquered the international music scene and reached the hearts of many with his music blend of various styles,such as soukous, ndombolo, pop and R&B
Fally Ipupa Nsimba was born on 14 December 1977 in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a large family. He was raised in a Catholic family, thus he began singing in the church choir. During his childhood,Fally was extremely shy due to his stammering and lisp,and his mother was often taking him to village to see if they could do something to him to solve that.
Fally’s first contact with music was in 1984/1985 when he was going to village for holidays and watching traditional groups perform at different events and he was attracted by mbonda. This attraction for mbonda developped further in kinshasa with the traditional group Efanzobila of kintambo(which later gave birth to swede swede and co) and Fally was often sent out from class as he was making too much noise in class by trying to play mbonda on the tableboards
In 1992/1993 he started playing street music with makeshift instruments alongside friends in a group they called Flash Succes, and later he also did a couple of rehearsals with fraternité musica,also from bandal like them, the group of singer didi kalombo. At that time it was not really serious music,more for fun as his parents wanted him to become a doctor as he was good in science subjects.
Later in 1995/1996 he went back to kintambo groups as he joined kibinda Nkoy alongside Papy Kakol,Seguin,Doudou kibinda and co and when the group had to split in two because they were too much and it made life easier for producers, he went with Seguin and some other members in Nouvelle Alliance Kibinda. He then finally had experience with proper instruments and his reputation as a singer/atalaku and dancer was growing at street level.
In adolescence, he began his musical career in various small groups in Kinshasa, and in the mid-1990s his voice attracted attention and he eventually joined local groups… In the late 1990s, he joined the nationally recognized “Latent Talent,” with whom he recorded his first album. Late1990s sealed the beginning of a musical ascension, when he joined Quartier Latin International founded by Koffi Olomide and became conductor of the orchestra. He was known for duets with Koffi Olomide in Effrakata specially the track “Effervescent” in 2001.
After he’s been identified so much with the brand name Quartier Latin International with success in the orchestra, he then released and promoted his first solo album Droit Chemin (Straight Path) in 2006 produced by David Monsoh Obouo of Music (known for his work with great names of African music such as Koffi Olomide, Papa Wemba , DJ Arafat among others. In this album, FI collaborated with a few prominent artist such Maddy Munan, Krys, Mokobé of 113 and Ben J of Neg ‘Marrons, including songs like Liputa, Orgasy and Sopeka emerging in the DR Congo and other parts of Africa having sold more than 100,000 copies.
He received a gold record. He was involved in concerts, tours and lectures and even artist performed at the Olympia in Paris in 2007.With his solo success, Ipupa had no plans to return to Quartier Latin International. He was part of the group Quartier Latin for about 10 years and worked his craft with Koffi Olomide. He notably created several hits for Koffi, among them Eternellement on Force de Frappe in 2001 and Ko ko ko ko on Affaire d’Etat which got him being promoted to the position of conductor despite his young age
However, in numerous interviews, he has admitted that he will always be part of the band but Koffi Olomide on the other hand was happy that Ipupa continued to mention the band’s name while promoting his own productions at the time. I mean after eight years under the mentorship of Koffi Olomide with the Quartier Latin Band. From 1999 until 2006, he was a member of Quartier Latin International, the music band formed in 1986 by Koffi Olomidé What would you do if you were the one Linx/Zaynab his successful solo career started right there mahn!
Sweet Life - an R&B/ hip hop song marked the future musical direction of Ipupa. It’s a fusion of Congolese rumba and hip hop pointing to Ipupa as the hard worker and hustler speaking about living a sweet life. There is a remix to the song featuring the Congolese Rapper Bigg masta G (Muana Mboka). He announced the remix through Facebook post on his timeline
In 2009, i.e three years after the release of Droit Chemin (Straight Path), Ipupa released a second album of 16 tracks called Arsenal De Belles Melodies acronymed as A2BM (French for “arsenal of beautiful melodies”) by the same David Monsoh. In this album, Olivia Longott – American singer (former member of G-Unit by 50 Cent ) was featured on the lead single Chaise Électrique . He also featured dancehall artist Krys on ” Sexy Dance “for the second consecutive time after the success of “Droit Chemin Remix. After the collaboration with singer Olivia, who has a huge fan base in Africa, Ipupa gained even more recognition in the continent and became one of Africa’s most sought after musicians.
In April 4, 2013, he launched into the market his third album “Kosa Leka” (Power) a -22 track album. It was Ipupa’s last album to be produced by same producer David Monsoh who is now his former producer and mentor. “Kosa Leka”/Power the album contained critically acclaimed songs such as “Bruce”, “Service”, “Terminator”, “1000% Mawa”, “Anissa”, “Skype”, “Love Assassin”, “Sony”, “Double Click” “Kosa Leka” “Hustler is Back “, the R&B and hip hop song Sweet Life (La vie est belle), Ndoki, Oxygen, among others. This third album was deemed success winning FI the trophy for “Best African Artist” at the first edition of Trace Urban Music Awards seeing that it had sold over 30,000 copies in a month. May 14, 2013,.
Sweet life. It was released with the album, along with the video.It is the most notable song of Ipupa’s album, for the participation of R&B singer and former G-Unit member Olivia. The video to Chaise Électrique was recorded in France
Fally Ipupa features Naeto C and 2face Idibia on ‘Sweet Life’ (remix) Congolese singer, Fally Ipupa features 2face Idibia and Naeto C on the remix of his 2013 hit song ‘Sweet Life’ produced by Julio Masidi.
Or Chaise Électrique ft Olivia Longott (lead single off 2nd album Arsenal De Belles Melodies)
“Best Video” and “Best Song”), “Micro Gold”, “Best Artist Central Africa” in the Soundcity Music Video Awards (SMVA 2010), Double Mama
On 5 May 2014, Ipupa posted his new title track “Original” on his Facebook page and YouTube channel. This track includes scenes from Ipupa’s previous live shows in the African cities: Kinshasa, Brazzaville, Dakar, Douala, Abidjan, Luanda and others. The song’s rhythm highlights the folk style of African music, especially the Ecuador DRC music style. The song reached the milestone of 1 million views in three months on YouTube
He came through with Tokooos – fourth solo album in 2017 enthralling African music lovers attempting to take his style–deeply rooted in Congolese rumba—mainstream. The word tokooos is a derivative from the Lingala word kitoko, meaning something good or a good vibe. The suffix -toko then becomes tokos, an expression coined by Fally Ipupa that eventually became the central line of his new style and music philosophy: tokooos music. Tokooos music, then, is good-vibes music. It is Congolese at its root, yet also very mainstream, urban and tres ouverte—very open—according to Fally. He wants to give fans beyond the universe of Congolese rumba a chance to have a piece of his marvelous style. In other words, tokooos music is Ipupa’s hope for a breakthrough in the mainstream European music market, particularly in Afro-francophone circles.
This album is also symbolic for many reasons: Tokooos is really Fally’s second new beginning. He said “On my fourth album, I wanted to create a bridge between Kinshasa and Paris; I have done it all in Africa, but I would like to win this French market.”
So Tokooos is the Congo’s new hope to experience a true crossover into the global music market, and have a Congolese rumba artist, based in Congo, capture the elusive mainstream markets away from home. To do this, Fally will have to capture the attention and the hearts of the francophone African diaspora in Europe fully decorated with current urban European sounds, a real departure from Fally’s Congolese rumba background, where singing in his native tongue Lingala was his comfort zone.
He released “Eloko Oyo,” in April 2017. The song uses a purely traditional rhythm of the Mongo people–the second-largest ethnic group in the Congo–with a modern Congolese guitar-picking style and a very clever international production touch. His fans went wild for “Eloko Oyo,” and the song has had more palpable success than any other single Fally has released to date. “Eloko Oyo” reached over 21 million views on YouTube in just five months, surpassing his previously most-viewed video, “Original,” which reached 21 million in four years. While this number is regular viewership for artists like Booba, MHD, or R.Kelly, this is a new level of attention for Ipupa.In Tokooos, Fally takes a chance to go far beyond his usual style, singing some songs completely in French.
2018 BET Awards winning– Eloko Iyo (Congo) – Winner
C4 Pedro ft Sautisol – Love Again (Angola/Kenya)
Wande Coal ft DJ Tunez – Iskaaba (Nigeria)
Droit Chemin 2 versions Obouo Music 2006
Arsenal de Belles Mélodies 2 versions 2009
Concert au Zénith de Paris 2010
Power “Kosa Leka” 4 versions 2013
Tokooos (CD, Album) 2017
Ipupa signed a contract for three albums (World Version) in April 2013 with Universal (Label AZ), the largest record company in the world. This signified the steady rise in the encompassing of African music by the label. Of particular note is the featuring of American rapper, Eve, in the track “Sex’plosif”, during the show Guest Star Trace TV in February 2013.
In 2014, FI was at Washington DC as part of the US-Africa Summit meeting, for which President Obama had invited 47 African leaders for the period 4 to 6 August 2014. A dozen African artists were selected to attend, including Fally Ipupa, the only invited artist from Central Africa.
Sexy Dance. In 2010, won the MTV Africa Music Awards 2010 for Best Video (for Sexy Dance) and Best Francophone Artist. He won the urban awards for best African artist.
AWARDS & NOMINATIONS
Fally received numerous awards and nominations: he won Césaire music male artist of the year in Paris, two Black Music Awards for Male Artist of the Year, Best clip in Benin, Male Artist of the year in Ivory Coast. He was nominated in the category “Best Soukous Entertainer” to IRAMWA awards to United States and best artist in Central Africa at the Kora Awards.
He has won numerous trophies, such as: 3 Ndule awards 2010 (“Best Album”, “Best Video” and “Best Song”), “Micro Gold”, “Best Artist Central Africa” in the Soundcity Music Video Awards (SMVA 2010), Double Mama in the MTV Africa Music Awards 2010, Best Francophone Artist, Best Music Video: “Sexy Dance”, four trophies in the Moamas Awards, two Okapi Awards 2011, appointed Nostalgies Music Awards 2012. He has also been nominated for numerous awards: MTV Europe Music Awards 2011, BET Awards 2011.He won the Best Artist category for Central Africa in the Afrimma Awards held in Dallas in July 2014.