Our journey as a Afro-Caribbean dancer, instructor and Deejay comes with many challenges. Some of these challenges are where to find reliable information in the mist of so much misinformation campaigns. The more I dive into music, the more I learn about the similarities and differences in music genre, mainly in Afro-Caribbean music genres. A few weeks ago I challenged myself in a research on Brazilian music and its connection to Zouk, Afro-Zouk and Kizomba. The initial goal was just to learn and be able to better categorize my music and have a better organized music database. The result of my finding turned out to be pleasant surprise for me and I can imagine for some of you reading this post. I was blown away and immediately thought I would share it those who have a vested interest in Lusophone music. Disclaimer: My findings which resulted in this post are from open sources (see list in the reference section). More sources are available and accessible to anyone with a computer and a basic research capability with a genuine interest in learning about Zouk, Afro-Zouk, Brazilian-Zouk. Anyone is free to agree or disagree, however, it will not change the facts that have been historically recorded and documented. This is not to be rude, however, those who are interested in arguing can invest the same amount of time and resource to learn the truth.
Alright, here we go. I found there is an actual (unpopular) music genre called Brazilian-Zouk, which many amazing Brazilian Bands have been producing since the late 1980s (example: Irmãos Verdades is one of the many pioneers of Brazilian-Zouk)
Brazilian-Zouk music is a Sister genre of Afro-Zouk with similar musical structure, patterns and instruments. These two Sister genres came from the ZOUK. Just like in Africa, Zouk was mixed to produced Afro-Zouk, in Brazil, Zouk was mixed to produce Brazilian-Zouk.
Some of these talented Brazilian Zouk Bands have even won Platinum Records and were extremely popular in the PALOP community in the 90s and 2000s. Some of you PALOPs who are old enough may know them and some of you Kizomba dancers may have even danced to their hit songs. I was blown away because I danced to their songs for years without even knowing they were Brazilians.
Brazilian-Zouk music is in reality over 30 years old. This is not to be confused with today's highly commercialized Lamba-Zouk, which the current misinformed generation calls Zouk.
Lamba-Zouk actually came from Lambada and is musically recognizable by its unique patterns, structure and instruments (available on open source).
This learning was so enlightening I believe we (Instructors, DJs, organizers, dancers and students) all have the responsibility to educate ourselves so we are well equipped in our dance journey. References: Afro-Zouk Manu Lima from Cabo Verde Show Monique Seka https://youtu.be/K5OV7dny6HE Olivier Ngoma https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30E4ekFlD64 Brazilian Zouk Irmaos Verdades https://youtu.be/v22ik-fmxGs Kizomba definition: A linguistic breakdown of the word Kizomba is nothing but the contraction of "aquele zouk com semba", aquel (Ki), Zouk (Zo), Semba (mba), result Ki-zo-mba. A music genre from Angola, which is derived from Semba and influenced by Zouk. This genre of music is not to be confused with Afro-Zouk since it did not come from Zouk but rather Semba. Afro-Zouk and Kizomba have different instruments, rhythms, patterns and structure. Cola-Zouk is a Sister genre of Kizomba since they respectively came from Coladera (Cabo Verde) and Semba (Angola), however influenced by Zouk. Therefore, what many believed to be is Kizomba is in fact Afro-Zouk (an African version of Zouk). Kizomba itself is much closer to Semba than to Zouk, just like Cola-Zouk is much closer to Coladera than to Zouk. We will develop more on this topic in future post. Afro-Zouk An interpretation of Zouk music by African countries using instruments, rhythm, patterns and structure native on Zouk music. Afro-Zouk is Zouk made by various African countries without significant influences from their respective African countries. Unlike Afro-Zouk, Cola-Zouk and Kizomba are derived from indigenous instruments, rhythms, patterns and structure. Cabo-Zouk An example of Afro-Zouk from Cape Verde, which uses instruments, rhythms, patterns and a structure native to Zouk music. Cabo-Zouk is Zouk music. Cola-Zouk A music genre derived from Coladera music indigenous of Cabo Verded, influenced by Zouk. Cola-Zouk music rhythm, patterns and structure is closer to Coladera than Zouk.