Nov 2nd, 2023
“Topesa Esengo Na Motema” (which means “Let Us Give Joy To The Heart”) is the first single from London Afrobeat Collective’s forthcoming album Esengo, scheduled for release on February 14th 2024, and comes accompanied by a brand new video and a remix from producer and DJ Bosq who gives it a afro-latin-disco twist.
Produced by Sonny Johns (Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela / Oumou Sangare / Ali Farke Toure / Polar Bear) the track finds the band in a lighter mood, celebrating the joy of living, reconnecting and getting back on the road once more. Sung in Lingala by lead vocalist Juanita Euka, and influenced by artists such as Juanita’s late uncle Franco Luambo as well as Pat Thomas & Fela Kuti, “Topesa Esengo Na Motema” is a call to live life to the fullest and do whatever it takes to live with joy in your heart, even in the face of adversity.
“Topesa Esengo Na Motema” was inspired by the Congolese rumba influence, a style of music in DRC before the independence, as a force of resistance against the colonial powers that were governing Congo. The spirit of the song draws from all the Congolese women & men that fought to get independence from Belgian rule in 1960 From the 1930s Congolese music was inspired by Cuban music. In fact this sound was brought to Cuba through the transatlantic slave trade and then the Cuban sound was brought back to Congo via radio. Congolese people were able to see the similarities and adopted a unique style then gave birth to Congolese Rumba. “Topesa Esengo Na Motema” is a chant to the soul to keep thriving for joy despite adversities and to to keep also fighting for justice, dignity dignity and the liberation of all the people that are being oppressed by the ruling class.
London Afrobeat Collective are a tight-knit family of musicians from around the world, living in London and united by a love of afrobeat and a desire to take original music to new places. This 8-strong collective from England, Italy, France, Congo, Argentina and New Zealand combine traditional afrobeat and hi-life with funk, jazz, Latin and dub to deliver party music born of their truly global DNA. Taking inspiration from afrobeat father Fela Kuti as well as such artists as Ebo Taylor, Parliament Funkadelic and Havana d’Primera, LAC’s original music and multi-lingual performances in English, Spanish, Lingala and French have won them admirers across Europe and the globe!
“Topesa Esengo Na Motema” out Digitally on Nov. 3rd via Canopy Records