Cape Town-based Congolese star Champagne Lukoki is a musical wonderkid. The Kinshasa-born singer who was groomed by great musos such as the saxophonist Verckys Kiamuangana and singer Bozi Boziana, always excels in whatever she does, and has since been leaving a trail of wonderful and sweet melodies wherever she performs.
Her hot sounds of Soukous, which remind music fans of the kwassa-kwassa rhythms of Kanda Bongo Man, bear testimony of a hard-working musician eager to please and overdose her fans with great music.
She pours her heart to Moon of the South: “It’s has been 12 years since I have been doing music, and believe me, I have learned a lot,” the former choir singer says.
“I love Soukous because I believe that it’s the mother of many musical beats. It’s easily adopted by the fans and proves to be a strong medication for fans looking for great fun through dazzling dance moves.”
She says she has chosen Soukous simply because it makes any muso defend himself or herself very well in front of any public.
Champagne, who settled in Cape Town in 2006, confesses her love for the late Congolese singer Abeti Masikini who she says is her biggest source of inspiration.
Africa’s economic powerhouse, South Africa, is not only the Eldorado for millions of ordinary Africans living in extreme poverty and under dictatorial regimes. It is also the land of opportunities for thousands of African artists looking for better working conditions, which they believe will help take their careers to another level.
The diminutive singer explains why she chose to settle in Mzansi: “South Africa has got all the favourable conditions for a musician to develop his or her career.
“Everything is here: economic stability, high-tech working material, including latest stuff for shooting videos, good recording studios in almost every corner of the country, and so on. It’s a rare country in Africa which has the type of music infrastructure you can only find in Europe.
“It’s an amazing feeling to operate in South Africa, it’s by excellence the best choice of any African musician,” she says.
SA’s technological advances and best music infrastructure have made the country a preferred destination for many great African musos who perform with ease and passion, with no worries and stress that electricity (for instance) will go away in the middle of the show.
Now that she has fully embraced SA and forsaken her war-torn and poverty-stricken country, Lukoki talks optimistically about the future: “My wish is to take my music to all corners of the globe.”
But, first she would have to get a good sponsor, an honest and rich producer or even a recording deal in order to reach that ambitious level. Right now, she has none of these.
The singer, an avid lover of jazz, kwaito, and Zahara, DJ Cleo and Siphokazi’s music, says she has plans to record a House song with Soukous beats.
- Pics: Johnny de Joburg Photo