Remmy Ongala

Real Name:
Ramadhani Mtoro Ongala
Profile:
Born: 1947 Kindu, Zaire now known as Democratic Republic of Congo
Died: 13th December 2010, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

African guitarist, singer, songwriter and bandleader known as the "Doctor"; Remmy originally came from Kindu in North Eastern Zaire. He performed in bands from the age of sixteen, learning his craft from his father, who was a well-respected, traditional musician. In 1978 Remmy travelled to Dar es Salaam where he joined Orchestra Super Makassy and later formed his own band, Super Matimila, named after the local businessman who bought and owned their instruments.
His presence was almost majestic and his distinct voice, rich and soulful, soared above the lilting rhythms of the Super Matimila. The rolling melodic drive of Zairean soukous is undeniable, yet there is also the influence of traditional Tanzanian rhythms and hints of Latin and Soul.
In Tanzania, Remmy's popularity was unrivalled; his reputation preceded him even to the remotest parts of the bush. His audience saw his lyrics as allegories, often attacking the country's ruling elite. He never assumed the mantle of spokesman for the masses but did both articulate the concerns of ordinary Tanzanians and initiate debate, with, for example, his song about AIDS, 'Mambo Kwa Soksi'. As he himself previously said, "I am successful in Tanzania because I write songs about serious topics ... my music is known as 'ubongo beat', because in Swahili 'ubongo' means brain and my music is heavy thinking music."
He was reported to have died at his home, after suffering kidney failure, on 13 December 2010 in Dar es Salaam.
In Groups:
Variations:

Albums

POLP 538 Remmy Ongala - Kipenda Roho Hula Nyama Mbichi album art Remmy Ongala & Orchestre Super Talakaka Remmy Ongala & Orchestre Super Talakaka - Kipenda Roho Hula Nyama Mbichi(LP, Album) Polydor POLP 538 Kenya 1983 Sell This Version
WOMAD 010 Remmy Ongala - Nalilia Mwana album art Remmy Ongala And Orchestre Super Matimila Remmy Ongala And Orchestre Super Matimila - Nalilia Mwana(LP, Album) WOMAD Records WOMAD 010 UK 1988 Sell This Version
AHDLP 6007 Remmy Ongala - Dance With Remmy Ongala On Stage album art Remmy Ongala, Orchestre Super Matimila Remmy Ongala, Orchestre Super Matimila - Dance With Remmy Ongala On Stage(LP, Album) Ahadi AHDLP 6007 Kenya 1988 Sell This Version
RWMC6 Remmy Ongala - Songs For The Poor Man album art Remmy Ongala & Orchestre Super Matimila Remmy Ongala & Orchestre Super Matimila - Songs For The Poor Man (Album) Real World Records RWMC6 Europe 1989 Sell This Version
AHD MC 6009 Remmy Ongala - Dkt Remmy Ongala 89 album art Remmy Ongala & Orchestre Super Matimila Remmy Ongala & Orchestre Super Matimila - Dkt Remmy Ongala 89(Cass, Album) Ahadi AHD MC 6009 Kenya 1989 Sell This Version
CAROL 2320-2 Remmy Ongala - Mambo album art Remmy Ongala & Orchestre Super Matimila Remmy Ongala & Orchestre Super Matimila - Mambo (Album) Real World Records, Real World Records CAROL 2320-2 US 1992 Sell This Version
ROOTCD004 Remmy Ongala - The Kershaw Sessions album art Remmy Ongala The Kershaw Sessions(CD) Strange Roots ROOTCD004 UK 1994 Sell This Version
WSCD002 Remmy Ongala - Sema album art Remmy Ongala & Orchestre Super Matimila Remmy Ongala & Orchestre Super Matimila - Sema(CD, Album) Womad WSCD002 UK 1995 Sell This Version