Mpiana, Jean-Bedel Tshituka
- Jeremy Rich
was born on 2 June 1967 in Kananga, located in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two days after his birth his father, Mpiana, and his mother, Agnès Lusambu, moved him to Kinshasa, the Congolese capital. Mpiana’s passion for singing led him to help put together a band named Wenge Musica made up of friends from his neighborhood and school on 11 July 1981. Other founding members were guitarists Alain Makaba, bassist Didier Masela, drummer Capone, and Mpiana’s future archrival, Werrason Ngiama. For the next six years the group slowly honed their craft and built up a small following. They participated in the dandy sapeur culture of expensive dress made popular in the neighboring city of Brazzaville.
By 1987 Wenge Musica made its mark with a major hit, “Kin Ebouger,” even before the group had recorded a single album. The band’s 1988 album Bouger Bouger ...