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Wemba, Papa
Stylish, suave, and singularly talented, Papa Wemba has become as much a fashion icon as a pop star. Wemba served his musical apprenticeship listening to Cuban dance music and, later on, to Otis Redding. He got his musical break with the ubiquitous ZLL before going on to pursue his own projects. Now based in Paris, Wemba looks toward Japan for both corporate support and clothes styles. An extremely articulate individual, Wemba eschews the soukous label, insisting that he is sui generis and simply performs to be danced to. In Wemba's music one finds no heavy funk/R&B overlays, no horns: at most some bluesy flashes in the scintillating guitar work. Just a sparkling, glittering interplay of guitars, drums and voices that doesn't let up