Artist: Youlou Mabiala
Release date: 28th April 2014
Sterns Music is proud to present the simultaneous release of the most complete set of recordings by Youlou Mabiala ever available.
Born Gilbert Youlou in the French Congo on the 3rd of March, 1947, Youlou sang with various groups in and around Brazzaville, but was still a comparative newcomer when 'Le Grand Maitre' Franco heard him there at a club in 1966. Franco was in exile from his native country, the Belgian Congo, soon to be renamed Zaire, but once he could safely cross the Congo River back into Kinshasa, he invited Youlou and the bass player, Bitchou, to go with him and join his great band, OK Jazz. Of course they went.
Youlou had a high, reedy voice that paired well with Franco’s lower, rougher voice, and despite being one of the youngest members of the band, from the late ‘60s into the early ‘70s Youlou proved to be one of the most prominent. But when he and other members of OK Jazz played nzong-nzing (moonlight gigs) once too often, Franco finally lost his patience and in 1972, fired the lot.
Together with Bitchou and guitarist Mose Se Sengo 'Fan Fan', Youlou joined others who’d fallen out with Franco and formed Lovy du Zaire, soon to be followed by Somo Somo. Only one year later however, Franco asked Youlou Mabiala (as he was now officially named) to come back to OK Jazz. Youlou did not refuse.
He returned to an even stronger TPOK Jazz and sang alongside such stars as Sam Mangwana, Josky Kiambukuta and Ntesa Dalienst. He himself became a star, and his compositions hits around Africa. But life in Zaire was becoming difficult, particularly for immigrants from Congo-Brazzaville, so in 1977 he left Kinshasa and went home. There he co-founded Les Trois Frères, which grew, changed its name to Kamikaze Loningisa, and by the ‘80s surpassed even Les Bantous de la Capitale as Brazzaville’s premier band.
Youlou and Franco remained close. Franco produced a Kamikaze Loningisa album in 1982 and a short while later Youlou married Franco’s daughter, Hélène, and the old man began referring to his son-in-law as Prince Youlou. When Franco died in 1989, Youlou disbanded Kamikaze Loningisa and led TPOK Jazz on one of its last albums. He continued working, mainly in Paris, until 2004, when a cardiovascular stroke restricted his ability to perform.
Beginning with 18 albums, including many of his classics and with more to follow, Sterns Music is honoured to have been asked by the artist to oversee the reissue of his excellent catalogue. It is filled to the brim with classic big-band Congolese rumba and odemba-style soukous, brewed from tangy guitars, ripe horns, robust drums and blended voices topped by the tenor that always sounds like it’s coming out through a big smile.
The first 18 (with more to come!) 1978-1992.
Special thanks to Martin Sinnock a.k.a. Papa Mundele along with Brian Parson a.k.a. Zuppe Inglese, for their generosity in allowing us access to their comprehensive collections of African vinyl, tape and CD.
1 Youlou Mabiala Youlou
2 Youlou Mabiala et l'Orchestre Rumbaya (Les Souvenirs) Youlou Mabiala
3 Le Prince Youlou Mabiala Sentimental
4 Le Prince Youlou Mabiala & L'Orchestre Kamikaze Loningisa Etabe Mofude
5 Le Prince Youlou Mabiala & L'Orchestre Kamikaze Loningisa Judoka
6 Youlou Mabiala 100% de pourcentage
7 Le Prince Youlou Mabiala & L'Orchestre Kamikaze Loningisa M'Bata Otikali! Otikali!
8 Le Prince Youlou Mabiala 1 x 2 = Mabé
9 Le Prince Youlou Mabiala & L'Orchestre Kamikaze Loningisa Couper-Soucis
10 Le Prince Youlou Mabiala & L'Orchestre Kamikaze Loningisa Karibu
11 Le Prince Youlou Mabiala Lili et Nsona, Live in Miguel "Casse Coup"
12 Le Prince Youlou Mabiala & L'Orchestre Kamikaze Loningisa Leo?? Utataaaya!!!
13 Le Prince Youlou Mabiala avec la grande force Kamikaze Loningisa Mon Avocat A Voyagé
14 Le Prince Youlou Mabiala avec la grande force Kamikaze Loningisa Loufoulakari
15 Le Prince Youlou Mabiala & L'Orchestre Kamikaze Loningisa Marie Bima (Mon avocat a voyagé 2e épisode)
16 Youlou Mabiala Kamikaze Loningisa
17 Youlou Mabiala, guest star Josky Kiambukuta Dona Beija
18 Le Prince Youlou Mabiala & L'Orchestre Kamikaze Loningisa Keba Na Moniato