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Biography

  • Born

    16 October 1945

  • Died

    3 May 2019 (aged 73)

Mose Se Fan Fan (Mose Se Sengo, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, 16 October 1945 - 3 May 2019) was a Congolese guitarist, composer and bandleader. He is one of the pioneers of Congolese Soukous.

He played with Franco and TPOK Jazz, which he joined in 1968. In the late 1970s, he formed his band Orchestre Somo Somo, roughly translated Double Trouble, performing in the Lingala language. The band performed in Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya. In the 1980s "Fan Fan" arrived in London, England mixing his music with English jazz musicians. In the 1990s he joined Bana OK, a tribute band to the late Franco Luambo Makiadi of TPOK Jazz. By 2000 "Fan Fan" returned to the roots of the Acoustic Rumba style. As of the early 2010s, he was resident in London.

Mose Se Sengo 'Fan Fan' (Mose Fan Fan) is considered to be one of Africa's most prominent guitarists. Mose Fan Fan first shot to fame in the 60s and early 70s as the second lead guitarist of OK Jazz (later renamed as TPOK Jazz) between 1967-74 with the legendary Franco (François Luambo Makiadi). Together with Franco, Mose Fan Fan was instrumental in developing the unique Congolese rumba sound, called soukous (a fusion of traditional Congolese African music with Caribbean (especially Afro-Cuban, Haitian music) and South American sounds. By the the mid 70s, Mose left his native Congo (formerly Zaire) and formed his own band called Somo Somo. For the rest of the decade, he lived, performed and recorded throughout east Africa notably, Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia.

By 1983 Mose Fan Fan had arrived in the UK and has been based in London ever since. He was one of a few African francophone musicians in the UK at that time. Most African francophone musicians in Europe tended to be based mostly in either France or Belgium, some of whom he has collaborated over the years. In addition he has frequently returned to Congo to be re-inspired by the the original sound of Kinois Congo-Rumba of Kinshasa.

In 1999 Fan Fan released the much acclaimed album The Congo Acoustic on the Triple Earth label: a warm sumptuous collection of acoustic Congolese Rumba that was voted into the top 10 World Music releases of 1999 by a panel of DJs and reviewers of World Music.

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