PARIS KINSHASA EXPRESS/ New album
Help us to broadcast "Mélomania" worldwide!
PARIS KINSHASA EXPRESS/ New album
1st city to record Congolese artists’ albums. Home to the now famous Congolese neighborhoods like Château Rouge.
Place bubbling with musical creation. 2nd french agglomeration in the world after Paris.
The musical vehicle for linking Paris and Kinshasa!
Congo Groove French way!
Initiated by the musician Patrick Mundelé and the dancer Mama Cécilia, the PKE collective gather a dozen artists (France, Congo, Togo, Japan), old wolves of the Congolese scene or from the new generation. Revisiting the music of the Congo Basin, these explorers/fun makers, agree to make sound in harmony a modern and mixed rumba whose lyrics mingle mockery and seriousness, in French and Lingala. The result needs to be listened with the intelligence of the heart and invites everybody to dance! Beware, it may shake a little…
A spicy, fun, festive and aware collective
A seething hymn Congolese bands from the golden age Kinshasa
A real dance machine to make move even the most resistant
Lola Simonet - AFRICAVIVRE
Style and content
Musically, PKE’s compositions are in line with two trends:
On the one hand, Franco Luambo ‘s OK Jazz, Antoine Moundanda and Zao , who in addition to the established quality of their musical writing, also share lyric intelligence, a humoristic tone and the use of metaphors to describe traditions, daily life and the suffering in their country as has been done in the past by French artists such as Brassens, Brel , Aznavour, Moustaki...
On the other hand, Pépé Kallé and Zaïko Langa Langa, who brought to the forefront the liveliness of Congolese music by introducing the « atalaku » (background entertainers in lingala), now key players.
And all of this is topped with a western touch in the harmonics and musical arrangements.
The lyrics deal with themes such as colton extraction and the killing spree in Kivu with the title « Coltan na Congo », the heritage of Congolese music and its worldwide influence with « Merci », as well as themes closer to France such as the republic’s ideals with « Marianne».
In all, a festive blast with healing properties for the body that liberates itself and hearts that come closer together but that always calls out and questions the mind. Driven by the hope of being a vector to raise awareness of the reality and the struggles in the Congolese basin. Motivated by the desire to create a dynamic of research, to build artistic and cultural bridges.
“It’s an amazing Africa that the one who is carried by the Paris Kinshasa Express. Without a doubt an Africa linked to childhood, mixing, shared originality, shared origin. An Africa of energies, an Africa of colours. Singing, dancing, fighting Congo. Because in our phones and computers lies a harvested precious land in Congo, but did we knew that? Because the whole world owes most of their dances and rhythms to Congo, but did we knew that? And simply because music drives us, even if we can’t see it, but it takes us by the legs and the bottom and we sweat, they call that Mélomania.”
Marc Verhaverbeke, writer
How things began...
Happy meetings are the mean thread of the Paris Kinshasa Express. At first, on the end of 2007, two characters met :Cécile Cassin ‑called Mama Cécilia- and Patrick Pellé -called Mundélé. Fascination immediately occurs between these two artists who grew in multiculturalism ans miscegenation led by history of France. At first she notices his natural presence, the strongness, the smoothness and the range of his voice. And also how he plays guitar, in a swaying style, coloured by rumba and soukouss. Cécile is rather somebody who lives things up. She is a ball of energy who gathers people and creates concepts and worlds. Things work well between their affinities and sensibilities. They share vibrations in their bodies while listening to Congolese musics. These emotions where probably anchored in their childhood memories.
Mundélé, the French and German "little white guy" lived till he was nine in "the beautiful Kinshasa". He naturally felt its scenery and its sensual atmosphere : music everywhere, echo of choirs in churches on Sunday, texture of foufou, smell of saka-saka, grey sky, whispers of tropical rains, rain pools, luxuriant vegetation, river Congo, masks on craft markets, football made of rags, but also poverty you can see in the streets. In the meantime Cécile lived in a quiet, common and mixed borough in Paris (20th). Her family loves music. Her mother, who was born in Tunisia, listens to Warda, Bourvil, Brel and Brassens. Her great sister buys albums of Touré Kunda and they go together to their first concerts. Her father, who was born in Antilles Islands, is a great fan of Nougaro. He likes dancing zouk, Haitian kompa and also Zao and Pépé Kallé he loves.
When she was ten, so right after Patrick came for good to France, Cécile travels in Senegal. It’s the beginning of her passion for Africa. While Patrick tells his friends that in Congo you play banda and tsakala rather than djembé, Cécile dances "Yéké-Yéké" in the school yard.
Young adult Cécile travels in Africa, Brazil and Guadeloupe. She studies ceremonials of African diaspora, dance, rhythm, anatomy and singing. Patrick composes music for his first bands like Lacri’mots, sings in vocal groups, learns playing guitar and classical composition in Conservatory.
On winter 2008 Patrick Mundélé rediscovers sanza (lamellophone) with the Makouaya Brothers ; he doesn’t leave it any more. In fact the instrument choose him ! Then Cécile introduces him to Lidjo Kuempa, an artist she follows since she discovered him. Then things link together. Lidjo introduces them to the Village Mongania, a squat and a meeting of "ex-Zairian" musicians led by the percussionist Oléko Esabé (ex Choc Stars). There they meet Nono Atalaku (ex Zaïco Langa Langa) and the guitar player Elvis Kunku (ex Empire Bakuba) . They make a first musical experience with Oléko and Nono, the OK Likembé. They give fun in streets and parks from 2009 to 2011. On 2010 they travel to Congo Brazzaville where they have the opportunity to meet Chrysogone Diangouya, Delavallet Bidiefono, well know Zao, the Très Fâchés, and also deceased Antoine Moundanda et Papa Kourand, great players of sanza. When they come back, the Paris-Kinshasa Express is born. Patrick composes their first pieces of music. PKE’s venture has initiated...
In the summer 2012, the PKE releases its first video clip "Merci", produced by Renaud Barret from La Belle Kinoise, co-director of the documentary films "Benda Bilili" and "Jupiter's Dance". Immediately afterwards, they finished recording their first album distributed in July 2013 and on which they managed to bring together for the first time the guitarists Elvis Kunku (Pépé Kallé/Empire Bakuba), Yves Demukusé (Papa Wemba/Viva La Musica) and Nono Atalaku (Zaiko Langa Langa).
For the cover and sleeve, they choose to work with the Congolese artist Alain Kojélé and his comic strip world.
This first album, as was the video clip, was self-produced.
"First album that surprised by the freshness of inspiration, sense of melody , originality arrangements"
Luigi Elongui- Amina- Sept 2013
Since 2012, the Paris Kinshasa Express perform on stage to share his '"Congo groove French" style': Festival de Cinéma de Douarnenez (spécial Congo), Africajarc, Black Summer Festival, Festival Sunart, Journée de l'Afrique à Autun, Africa Break, Comptoir Général et Bellevilloise (Paris), Jam (Montpellier)... Today their fans call them the "PKE".
The PKE have surrounded themselves with a network of invaluable partners:
- Media: Africavivre, Africultures, les Dépêches de Brazzaville
- Radio stations: Africa N°1, Couleur Piment, FPP, Black Voices, Vaudou Paname...
- Institutions: BEMA, SCPP, FCM, the town of Palaiseau
- Development: Mama Afrodite
- Bookings: WorldSoul Prod
Without forgetting their all-time fans, friends and family!
The start of a second album
In 2017, the PKE recorded 3 new titles but didn’t finish the album for lack of sufficient funds... Today, the second album appears to be an obvious choice to continue their journey and perform on new stage line-ups and radio programmes, in other words to see new horizons! So helping them, is making it possible for them to continue to play for you, to spread the "mélomania" epidemic throughout the world for your enjoyment!
Allocation of funds
In 2018, the PKE managed to find funds but is still missing at least 4000€ to cover all the costs required for the various steps to produce an album, these being:
- Recording and mixing studios (for the 5 remaining titles) - Mastering – Salary for the artists and the technical team (about ten people at the established negotiated and agreed rate in the phonographic field) + Employment contributions costs – Graphic design (the album cover, various communication documents) - Copyright (SDRM) – CD reproduction - Communication and promotion (press officer, publications etc.)
4000€ would finance a part of this: the reproduction of 1500 CDs (2000€), copyrights (1000€), graphic design (700€). This would also cover the collection costs by KissKissBankBank (320€)
A further level of 6500€ would allow, in the wake of this, the production of a video clip of a title from this second album.