Konde Martins was born in Luanda, Angola, and is a well-known kizomba singer.
In the 1990s, Cabo Verdian singers, like Livity, Jorge Neto (1962-2020), Beto Dias, Grace Evora, etc., were very popular in the Palop communities and had a huge influence on Konde, who started his career at the end of 1990s / at the beginning of 2000s. His first song is Dama de Rosa.
The civil war in Angola did not have an influence on his music, he didn’t experience much of it, because most of the war did not happen in the capital city. Konde’s only war-time experience is from 1994, when there were fights during the election period between the MPLA and UNITA parties, and two of his friends died in combat.
Characteristics of Konde Martins’ songs
Most of his songs are about universal things like love, happiness and joy, but not about sadness, sorrow, or suffering. Moreover, he never wanted his lyrics to be offensive to any of the sides, so the songs are apolitical. Konde prefers singing about love.
As a result, these songs are kind of special: every generation and every nationality in every country can theoretically relate to them, and are actual in every stage of life, regardless the fact that some of the songs were produced years ago.
In 2002, Konde had the opportunity to travel to Holland by receiving an invitation from a female singer (name not known to me). He produced a single there, and spend around 30 days in the country. Konde spent most of the time at the studio, so he didn’t even have an opportunity to go around, sightseeing. Once the single was recorded, Konde went back to Angola straight away.
He was greatly influenced by the Haitian musical genre konpa (conpas), and not by zouk. Most kizomba singers work mainly with zouk influences (basically they mix semba with zouk to have kizomba as the result), but Konde decided to incorporate elements from konpa as well (guitar, keyboard). And this sound was unique the time his songs were released because it felt much more different than the ‘usual’ kizomba songs.
Eduardo Paím was helping Konde Martins as a mentor basically (Maya Cool received huge help from Eduardo as well, read the Maya Cool article here). It is known that Eduardo Paím has a lot of keyboard and Kassav’ influence in his music, so naturally Konde’s style was greatly affected by it. However, Konde later switched to konpa because to him that rhythm made the songs feel much happier, more joyful.
Some facts about Konde Martins
- Konde gets his inspiration from all of the romantic movies (he also likes soap opera), and thus he likes sad, or romantic stories with a happy ending.
- He doesn’t want to become just another commercial singer in the market, nor he tries to produce songs just for the sake of producing songs. In fact, he does take the time to think the type of music he wants to produce before even going to the studio. He is very conscious about that.
- His songs are like his children to him, so he does not have a favourite, he loves all of them.
- He writes lyrics and the music the same time.
- He makes semba songs as well.
Selected Konde Martins songs:
1. Konde Martins – Negra
The style is kizomba: there is semba (the dikanza) influence and coladera influence in the guitar present, but the way the drums are makes the song a kizomba. You mights say you can have a feeling of kizomba, or semba depending on the time, your mood (Eddy Vents added the last remark).
2. Konde Martins – Juju
This one has a strong konpa flavour in it.
3. Konde Martins – Katia
This is a very popular love song that partly based on a real story that had happened to a friend of Konde.
4. Konde Martins – Dama de Rosa
Konde Martins’s first song.
This short article was based on an online Facebook interview hosted by Eddy Vents in the group Kizomba Dance Library Live, but without the help Kokas Correira, that interview would have never been occurred. Kudos to her and Eddy Vents! Unfortunately, the first part of the interview wasn’t recorded and I didn’t remember all the details, so as a consequence, the article is stub.