AFRICAN MUSIC #1: Konono no. 1 from the Belgian Congo


The band was formed in Kinshasa, Belgian Congo and is specially known for the electric likembé, the instrument that three bandmembers use. The group´s full name is “L’orchestre folklorique T.P. Konono Nº1 de Mingiedi” and they have long lived with percussion instruments made from salvaged items from the backyard, improvised amplified devices, and few resources to live and perform.

While this group has existed since 1978, it was not until 2005 that they were worldwide known and even showcased their music in the festival Eurockéennes, France. Björk had them collaborate on the song “Earth intruders”

For sure there are many groups like Konono no.1 in the world and the questions that arises from the business point of view:

1) How are these artists being promoted? – before and after they are known-
2) Who is making the money? the record label, the manager, the artist…
3) Can countries like Congo benefit from these ´new ventures?