Awilo Longomba

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Awilo Longomba
Born (1962-05-05) 5 May 1962 (age 60)
OriginDemocratic Republic of the Congo
GenresSoukous, Techno-soukous
Occupation(s)Singer, drummer

Awilo Longomba is a Congolese soukous musician. Since childhood, Awilo spent every single 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“.[1] At first a drummer in Viva la Musica,[2] Stukas, Nouvelle Generation and Loketo, he left drumming for singing and released his first album Moto Pamba with help from Shimita, Ballou Canta, Dindo Yogo, Dally Kimoko, Sam Mangwana, Syran Mbenza and Rigo Star in 1995. Awilo has performed live concerts in Africa, Europe, and North America.[3] after first moving to France in the 1980s,[4] Awilo now lives in London, United Kingdom and is married to Paradis Kacharelle and they have a son called Lovy Believe Church Awilo Longomba.

Early life[edit]

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 Muana, Oliver Ngoma, Kanda Bongo Man just to name a few.[5]

Coupe Bibamba 1998[edit]

His second album CD, Coupe Bibamba (1998), made him hugely popular throughout Africa making him a household name in various sub saharan African countries.It also made him garner an increasingly large international audience, with the album having popular songs such as coupe bibamba and Gate le coin, thus enabling him perform in various cities across Africa.

Kafou Kafou (2001)[edit]

Kafou kafou album followed the hugely popular coupe bibamba and was remembered for having a hugely popular song cache cache a collaboration with artiste Joecyline Beorard which continued ruling the African airwaves.

Mondongo (2004)[edit]

Mondongo (2004), which featured Japponais, Dally Kimoko, Caen Madoka, Djudjuchet, Josky Kiambukuta and Simaro Lutumba. He is also credited as an atalaku (animateur) on some soukous records, and was remembered for Karolina‘’’ song, which celebrated the beauty of African women and became Africa's biggest song of 2004.

Awilo's relatives in the music industry include his father Victor Longomba[2] a founding member of T.P OK Jazz as well as his late elder brother, Lovy Longomba who had a rich tenor voice and was a member of Super Mazembe led by Longwa Didos. Additionally, Awilo Longomba's nephews Christian and Lovy of the Longombas, are a popular Afro-fusion group based in Kenya.

In 2008, Awilo Longomba released the new album Super-Man which was another success. Awilo continued his popularity in USA/ Canada while on tour with Nabtry International Cultural Dancers, an African dance group founded in 2007 by Grace Haukwa. The Super-Man tour was successful throughout 2008 and 2009. By popular votes and a historic win at the International Reggae and World Music Awards with over 120 countries voting in, Super-Man won the Best Soukous Entertainer Award 2009. CEO and founder of Nabtry Grace Haukwa, who represents Awilo in the US, received the award on Awilo's behalf at the ceremony.

His versatility has been evident lately with his many collaborations with modern day and styles musicians in many African Countries, among them are Nigerian artistes P-Square, Tiwa Savage, Olamide, Harmonize and Yemi Alade.


  1. ^ "ProfileAbility – Awilo Longomba". ProfileAbility. 2021-08-02. Retrieved 2022-03-21.
  2. ^ a b Stewart, Gary (2000). Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos. Verso. p. 333. ISBN 1-85984-744-7. On the well-trodden road to Paris, bands of the younger generation followed in the footsteps of their elders. Papa Wemba's lengthy stay in 1982 had awakened him to the opportunities that lay beyond his Zairean home base. The upheavals that had followed his return to Kinshasa resulted in a ‘new look’ Viva La Musica that by 1986 included a formidable lineup of young singers: Reddy Amisi, Remy Ngoua, Ketai Muchawaya, Lidjo Kwempa, Litemo Luciana, Stino ‘Stino As’ (Ace) Mubi, and Ngizulu Kubiala, known as ‘Fafa de Molokai.’ On-again-off-again singer Pepe Bipoli was on again, along with Joe ‘Joe Fat’ Fataki, a singer from Wemba's old Yoka Lokole. A pedigreed newcomer, Vicky Longomba's son Awilo, joined them on drums. In all the band numbered around sixteen, including guitarist Bongo Wende.
  3. ^ Kaggwa, Andrew (9 September 2015). "Bebe Cool, Eddy Kenzo win big". The Observer. Retrieved 7 October 2020. Last weekend in Toronto, Canada, alongside Bow Wow and Awilo Longomba, Bebe Cool was one of the performers at the highly-billed African Entertainment awards.
  4. ^ Winders, James A. (2006). Paris Africain: Rhythms of the African Diaspora. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 93. ISBN 1403960046. Awilo Longomba (1962–), also originally from Zaïre, first came to France in 1986 as drummer for the famous singer Papa Wemba. His father, “Vicky” Longomba, was a very popular singer with Zaïre’s prominent band O.K. Jazz. In 1989 Awilo moved permanently to Paris, and became a French citizen in 1994, having married a French woman.
  5. ^ "Awilo Longomba Biography | Pan African Allstars". Retrieved 2022-04-09.

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