Kuduro is the sound of Angola, the music of its streets. Kuduro which infuses electronic sounds, with zouk, soca, and African percussion, originated in the late 1980s in the midst of the Angolan civil war following its independence from Portugal.
Since its origins in Luanda (Angola’s capital) this genre spread to Lisbon in areas with large populations of Angolan immigrants, as well as musical capitals of Europe and the United States like Paris, NYC, and D.C. According to Prof. Marissa Moorman who teaches African history at Indiana University, in Angola this music is played everywhere especially in candongueiros, or collective taxis that are 12-15 seater vans. (If you live in Brooklyn they’re very similar to the dollar vans that race up and down Flatbush Ave.) Drivers of candongueiros receive CDs from artists to play in their vans in an attempt to get their music in front of the people by taking the middleman – the radio – out of the equation. It’s guerilla marketing at its best. Of course, with the immense popularity of kuduro songs by renowned artists like Buraka Som Sistema are pulsing through the airwaves of the city, Africa, and the world.
Although kuduro originated in the middle of a civil war choreographer Manuel Kanza has said the music is all about positivity and celebrating life. It’s all about the dance which is inspired by anything from animals to marching soldiers and beyond. “Anything can make a kuduro move.”
In celebration of #MusicMonday sign into to Spotify to access the official Dual Citizen kuduro playlist. If you don’t have Spotify just click the links below to listen to 7 tracks or watch 3 dance videos from some of the biggest names in the genre that you’ll be sure to repeat the entire month.
Official Kuduro Playlist
Kuduro Tracks & Dance Videos
Janca J & Joseph Go dancing to DJ Big Vado
Freestyle Kuduro in Lisbon
Kuduro Dance Style in Uganada