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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Are Konpa and Zouk equal Kizomba?

By Christine Jean-PierreCSMS Magazine Staff WriterDid you know that Zouk and Konpa are being played inMTV Channels in Portuguese speaking countries such as Brazil and Portugal for about four years now? But in those countries, they do not call it Konpa or Zouk. They call it Kizomba.            It is true that there is music genre called Kizomba originated from Angola in the late 70s. It was supposed to be a fusion of Samba and African rhythms. Now in today’s Kizomba, it is a fake Portuguese name for mixing Konpa and Zouk together. The problem most Konpa lovers have with this is that Konpa or Zouk is not getting recognition from these so called Kizomba artists, who claim that today’s style of Kizomba is from the Portuguese speaking country of Angola instead of the French and Creole speaking countries of Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana.            “Zouk artists such as Ali AngelKaysha, and Nichols are to blame in part for embracing this facade genre of music by producing Cape Verdian or Angolaian artists such as Marcia,MarissaElizio, and Loony Johnson,” claimed Roger Jean-Louis, a partygoer from Orlando, Florida. Also, Nichols is adding more fuel to the fire by coming out with a new album calledErogen Cabo, when he is actually from Martinique, just to get more fans in the Portuguese speaking world.            In the Portuguese speaking countries, there are other unrealistic names for music genres that are also added more problems for the Caribbean music genres. For instance, Tarracha is the name for plain Zouk Love, where as Tarraxinha is the name being used for troubadour music.            But the Haitian music industry is beginning to take note. Rumor has it that Haitian bands such T-vice and Carimi have rejected gigs in Cape Verde and in Portugal, claiming that they would not be introduced as Konpa bands but as Kizomba artists from Haiti.To many Konpa producers, the whole Kizomba phenomenon is nothing but a well organized bootlegging ploy designed to steal credit from where credit is due: Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana.            “When you listen to Cape Verdian Elizio’s songs Ne me laisse pas and Bonita, you hear nothing but a raw Konpa. It is clear and unmistakable. Music is universal, but music genre is unique, identifiable to or originated from a specific country or a distinct region, although everyone can play it, depending on the popularity of the genre,” said Gerard Le Fèvre, a musicologist from Quebec City interviewed by CSMS Magazine.            This is true for well-known genres like Salsa, Meringue, R&B, Hip Hop etc… These genres have become universal, but wherever they are being played, there is an unmistakable consensus. Everyone knows what they are, and bootleggers can’t claim them as their own. Konpa has been around for more than 50 years, and its credential is well established. What makes the credibility of an author is his courage and honesty to land credit where credit is due.Cape Verde is not an outer space country; it is a beautiful archipelago on the Atlantic Ocean on the western coast of Africa. It is part of the global village. Bootleggers cannot be allowed to tarnish its reputation, and many of its citizens will not be fooled. They know Kizomba is not original di Cabo Verde. “When I first heard the music, I immediately identified it as Haitian music. I used to live in New York and I used to go to Haitian parties a lot. I keep Haitian music in my home. I love System Band, Tabou Combo and many more,” confirmed Maria Di Santos, a charming Cape Verdian professional from Jacksonville, Florida.                       Observers agree that Caribbean music genres should be recognized as mainstream music by their real authentic names, not by fictitious names like tarrachatarraxinha, and the most popular one kizomba. “That’s why we as West Indians need to stop this injustice in music,” said Mario Gilles, a teacher from Fort De France, Martinique.Also see Zouk music producers have turned into Kompa to boost record sales     Dwindling record sales forces Zouk producers to call Konpa to the rescue

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