An old LP cover dug out from the Concertzender archives. Pepe Kalle.
Congolese singer Pepe Kalle (1951-1998) was widely known for his size, both breadthways as in height, what gave him the nickname ‘the elephant of Zaire’. His live performances, helped by his enormous appearance, seemed to be legendary, certainly when he did this in playful collaboration with a little person called Emauro for years. Pepe Kalle’s music sung in Lingala has been recorded on dozens of albums, among which the ones with his own bands ‘Bella Bella’ and ‘Empire Bakumba’. With his swinging voice Pepe Kalle scored many hits in the soukous style, the in Congo/Zaire immense popular dance music driven by fast runs and electric guitars. In Opgehoesd you can listen to the LP ‘Pon moun paka bougé’ from 1989 [A.F.R. AR1007 ; P. 1989) of the soukous giant. In addition to the LP ‘Pon moun paka bougé’ the Congolese soukous band ‘Zaiko Langa Langa’ has been chosen. Pepe Kalle worked together with this band several times during his career. Some of the songs, also sung in Lingala, of Zaïko Lango Lango can be heard on the Cd album ‘Poison’ from 1999 [JPS JPSCD 45 ; P. 1999].