Template:Congolesemusic Soukous is a musical genre formed in Zaire and the Congo in the early 20th century, also known as Lingala music in East Africa and Congo music in English-speaking West Africa. It was originally performed with guitar, likembe (sanza) and bottle. Soukous music has gained exponential popularity throughout the African continent where it is referred to by different names depending on the region. In East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania), Soukous is called Lingala which referes to the trade language of the Congo region from which the music originated. Modern performers of soukous include Diblo Dibala, Souzy Kasseya, Kanda Bongo Man, Fidele Zizi, Victoria, Theo Blaise, Kofi Olomide, Papa Wemba, and Orchestre Virunga.

Soukous' origins are in the work camps of various companies throughout the Congo area, from about 1900 to 1930. In these camps, people of dozens of ethnic groups worked together and performed their own distinct styles of music, and enjoyed imports like Cuban rumba and West African highlife. Soukous was originally performed with a bottle, guitar and likembe (sanza), by artists like Djhimmy and Wendo. With the opening of recording studios and radio stations in the 1940s, and the introduction of instruments like the electric guitar, soukous grew towards a more modern sound. Large bands (orchestres) with male vocalists, congas, clips, guitars and double basses. A third guitar line between the lead and rhythm was later introduced, as were yet more instruments, mostly brass and woodwind instruments.

In the 1960s, rumba became a stronger influence in some of the most popular orchestres, including Lipua-Lipua, Veve, Kamale, Kiam, OK Jazz and Bella Bella. A different style arose during the same period, best exemplified by the likes of Empire Bukuba, Zaiko Langa Langa and Stukas. Soukous spread across Africa, and became an influence on virtually all the styles of modern African popular music, including highlife, palm-wine music, taarab and makossa.

In the late 1980s and 90s, Parisian studios were used by many big stars, and the music became heavily reliant on synthesizers and other electronic instruments. Leading modern bands include Kanda Bongo Man, Orchestre Virunga, Theo Blaise, Fidele Zizi, Souzy Kasseya and


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