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So Tom and Prncipe

So Tom and Prncipe is an island country off the coast of Africa. Culturally, the people are African but have been highly influenced by the Portuguese rulers of the islands.

So Tomans are known for ússua and socopé rhythms, while Principe is home to the dêxa beat. Portuguese ballroom dancing may have played an integral part in the development of these rhythms and their associated dances.

Tchiloli is a musical dance performance that tells a dramatic story. The danço-congo is similarly a combination of music, dance and theatre.

Popular music

The godfathers of So Toman popular music was the band Leoninos, which was founded in 1959 by Quintero Aguiar. The group were well-known as spokesmen for the people of So Tom and Prncipe, and were champions of their culture. Leoninos was banned by the Portuguese radio station after released "Ngandu", which criticized the Portuguese colonialists.

Leoninos broke up in 1965, but were followed by Os Úntués, led by Leonel Aguiar, who added American, Argentinian, Congolese and Cuban musical influences, and introduced the electric guitar and other innovations. Popular music from the islands began to diversify, as bands like Quibanzas and Africa Negra. Among these groups was Mindelo, who fused So Toman rhythms with rebita, an Angolan style, to form puxa.

In the latter part of the 20th century, songwriters like Zarco and Manjelegua found a domestic audiences, by So Toman-Portuguese musicians like Juka and Açoreano established a Lisbon-based scene.

References

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