Kyaku Kyadaff (kɪʝaːku kɪdaːff) was born on the 29th of June 1982 in M’banza-Kongo, the capital city of Zaire province, Northern Angola. His real name is Eduardo Fernandes and he graduated as a psychologist at an university. This article is partially based on the online video interview with Kyaku Kyadaff hosted by Eddy Vents.
Zaire province is located at the border of Angola’s northern neighbour, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The area is inhabited mainly by bakongos (they are also bantu people just like the ambundus living around Luanda and the northern parts of the Kwanza river basin, where kimbundu is the most widely used local language).
The most significant musician ever born in the region was Teta Lando (1948-2008). Read more about him here. He and the members of the Os Versáteis band were also born in M’banza-Kongo.
The main spoken language there is kikongo (widely used in the DRC) and “Congolese rumba” was/is highly influential in the region.
One important local musical genre there is called mbembo (the first letter ‘m’ is unaccented) which is a type of folk music.
In this area, semba is not known, or played at all,as Kyaku explained.
Kyaku Kyadaff was first a mbembo singer. Later on in his life, he moved to Luanda where he was introduced to kizomba the first time. After that, he soon became a popular kizomba singer, and now a kizomba icon with his unique style and beautiful voice.
He started his first steps as a singer in 2006, later in 2010 participated the Festival da Canção, and in 2012 he became the winner of the competition held at the Festival Nacional de Trova promoted by the Agostinho Neto Foundation.
Every good kizomba musician has different background, knowledge of different music genres and local/unique flavours which they add to their songs. Kyaku Kyadaff’s kizomba has influence mainly from mbembo (for example, his song Mazakaleke has strong mbembo influence) and to some extent from “Congolese rumba”.
The semba of the kimbundu region, just to name a few artists, bands: Bonga, Carlos Burity, Bangao, Carlitos Vieria Dias, Banda Maravilha, N’Goma Ritmos, David Zé, Urbano de Castro, Artur Nunes, Oscar Neves, Os Kiezos, As Gingas do Macasso (read the Patrícia Faria article) etc.), more specifically around Luanda, indeed have been influenced by “Congolese rumba”.
Kyaku explained and demonstrated how he took the feeling of mbembo rhythm into his kizomba – they way he sings, and plays the guitar. The singing style of mbembo has a bit of melancholic tendency. Listen to his song called “Mazakaleke” as an example:
Some other short facts we learned from the interview:
- He got a question that whether he does have any semba songs. He responded that, in fact, he does not.
- James Brown is Kyaku Kyadaff’s biggest inspiration as a singer.
- Kyaku has a humble and friendly personality.
- Mkumba (again, the first letter ‘m’ is unaccented) is a word in kikongo for the belly bottom. The touch of the belly bottoms movement is called masemba in kimbundu (or sometimes referred to as umbigada movement – ed.) which is part of the basics of the rebita dance, a dance that was popular before semba.
To summarize, different background of musicians contributed to the rick multi-cultural mix in Angola where every kizomba (and other) singer differs in flavours and style because of it (for example, Maya Cool, Matias Damásio or Konde Martins to name a few). Kyaku Kyadaff’s uniqueness we love comes from his mbembo and “Congolese rumba” influences in kizomba.
Selected Kyaku Kyadaff songs
This article is partially based on the online video interview with Kyaku hosted by Eddy Vents. That interview could not have been possible without the help of Kokas Correira (an organizer at the Angolan club Mwangole, in Lisbon). A big thanks and kudos to her and Eddy Vents.