Midweek Archive: Tabu Ley Rochereau – Hafi Deo

The Midweek Archive is a place to discover those low-key tracks that may have drifted under your radar over the years while you were busy playing Subbuteo, getting your GCSEs, coming to terms with your crippling student debt or still in the womb. We’ll hit you with some old gold that might just be new to you.

There’s nothin’ better to help overcome the midweek blues than feel good African rumba from the late great Congolese king Tabu Ley Rochereau.

The ‘African Elvis’ pioneered soukous, or African rumba, and brought his music to the international stage by fusing elements of Congolese folk music with Cuban, Caribbean and Latin American rumba, composing 3,000 songs and producing 250 albums in the process before he sadly passed away in 2013.

1985 track Hafi Deo is a joyous example of Tabu Ley’s work, with unforgettable vocals and a rhythm that you cannot help but move to. Despite the artist’s influence Hafi Deo somehow drifted into obscurity not long after its release, but with afro-influences as popular as ever today the soukous sound is on the pulse.



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