The Lowertown Line

S4 E5 | CLIP

Siama Matuzungidi | Interview: Soukous

Siama discusses Soukous, a popular genre of dance music from the Congo Basin.

AIRED: April 11, 2017 | 0:02:42

- Thank you so much.

(serene acoustic guitar)

In the sixties, Soukous came as a dance.

It was dance people use in room.

Around seventy, people start using that style of music.

It's kind of uptempo a little bit,

and then the chant, so it is more dance party music.

I'm playing one, four, five, four.

So one, four, five, four.

So, this is a rhythm guitar.

Sometimes you can just go like...

And now this can be even rock and roll,

with this kind of playing.

But in Soukous, then it went...

(blues electric guitar)

I came here in 1995.

Dallas came from New York in 1995, same year.

So then we start performing in the same band.

- Siama would do just a simple little show at a bar

and there would be somebody there

who would meet him and cry,

and say, "Oh, your song is my mother's favorite song,"

or, "I can't believe I'm meeting you,"

and I'm like, who are you?

I researched him and realized

that he had this amazing career

that he'd never told me about,

and so every day I would show him

a big list of songs, and be like,

"Did you play on all these?"

and I uncovered this whole life of his

that he had never told me about because he's so humble.

And so, that was amazing to me

that I'd been with this person all these years

and didn't realize.

- Even me, I was like, did you find that where?


"Oh, online."

I'm like, really?

Somebody wrote that stuff about me online?

I didn't know somebody can do that.