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The 'Kuduro' state of mind

The 'Kuduro' state of mind
By Katy DartfordCharlotte Kan
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This type of music invented in the capital of Angola is starting to conquer the planet, but its creators say Kuduro is much more than a type of music, it's a state of mind.


In Angola, Kuduro is much more than a style of music, it's a state of mind.

Originating in the street, this typically Angolan style of dance and music blossomed in the 90s, and it's gone on the conquer the rest of the country and perhaps the rest of the world.

In the neighbourhoods of Luanda, music producer, Tony Amado enjoys star status. Everyone in the suburb of Sambizanga wants to impress him.

"I was inspired by a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie where he is doing that drunken scene and then I made the music, Kuduro. And that turned into a project where we invited other people to participate, and then the project grew” (…) “Kuduru artists are mostly people from the suburbs who sing Kuduru to elevate themselves socially.”

In another area of the capital, Zango IV, Tony receives the same enthusiasm: everyone wants to show him their own interpretation of Kuduro.

As night falls, in the Rangel district are the “next Kuduro generation”: young artists like Karliteira, who believes Kuduro's popularity is largely due to its positive energy.

"Kuduro is a style that can cure anything, whatever problem you have, so this is the positive spirit that Kuduro brings."

But how is that unique sound produced?

"You can’t really define a particular instrument in Kuduro," says music producer, Nuno Tello.

"We could not record it with a real band of percussionists so, we found electronic beats and we made something close to what we would hear in the carnival - that is the essence of our tradition.”

A festive atmosphere, fast beats, often raw lyrics and spontaneous choreographies – for the Angolans, Kuduro is the essence of a nation, its pride and optimism now resonating throughout the world.

" I didn’t expect this from all these people … This whole desire to listen to the Angolan 'beat', the Angolan style," says music artist, Preto Show who is just back from performing in the Netherlands.

"So right now it is to say that step by step we are growing and taking this style, our national style, to other horizons, and to other continents."

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