Armindo’s take on popular Angolan songs

This is a new space within Join Angola’s website, where you’ll be able to read Armindo’s analysis of some of the most popular Angolan songs. He’ll be taking bits of the lyrics and using them to try and understand what the artist wanted to express. Do you agree with Armindo? Do you think he’s just making things up? Whatever your thoughts are, we’d love to hear them in the comments section!

Tony Amado – Sofrer so

Sharing with the world about Angola’s cultural experience is the main objective of our work. In other words, it is our motivation behind all of our projects. And within the scope of our motivation, one of our jobs is to share our views on Angolan music with fellow Angolan music lovers, in order to get them to know and better understand what they listen and/or dance to. We are fully aware that you can dance and listen to any song, even if you don’t understand what it says. However, what we want to emphasize here is that dancing and listening to a song, understanding what it says, is something that takes you to another level and another dimension.

As we know, we are in the month of February, the famous month of lovers, marked with the 14th of the same month, known by all as the day of St. Valentine. As a result, we decided to choose a song suitable for this romantic moment, in order to give more emphasis to the social context that the world lives at this time. It is, therefore, the song with the title “NÃO BAZA”. This song (kizomba genre), in my view, is one of the most successful songs in Angola, because – despite being released almost 10 years ago – it still continues to make people who appreciate good kizomba dance. The most impressive thing is that the singer of this song does not identify with the kizomba genre, as he is mostly a kudurista. In fact, he is considered as the king and the creator of kuduro: the singer TONY AMADO. However, it can be said that kizomba was another musical style that the king of Kuduro experienced. And it should be noted that it was a fantastic experience, watching the way the public received the music.

BAZA” comes from the verb “BAZAR”, an informal expression widely used by Angolans, especially young people, in farewell situations, example: “Vou bazar”, to say “I am going”. However, in the music we are analyzing, the expression “O BAZA”, in addition to denoting linguistic informality, also demonstrates a syntactic deviation, since the grammatically correct expression would be “NÃO BAZES”. But then, considering music as an art, deviations like this are permissible: it is the concept of poetic freedom in literature.

Digging deep into what the music’s content is, the expression “NÃO BAZA” (=“don’t go”) will convey the idea of ​​exhortation and, above all, of request. This is not a friend request on the Facebook, but an apology. The song portrays the disagreement between a couple where, probably, it was the man who caused this lack of understanding. Therefore, the woman – hurt because of the man’s misconduct, decides to bazar, that is, to leave. This decision taken by the woman, leaves the man quite worried and with that feeling of fear of losing the woman. The song, unfortunately, does not reveal what the man has done, but, if the woman has come to the decision to leave and end the relationship, it has definitely been a big mistake.

Another fact, no less important, in relation to the content of this song, is the total humiliation in front of the woman. Let us look at some of the verses of the song: “if you bazar (=“go”) I could die/don’t stop being my wife” … in these two verses, for example, you can clearly see how the man completely surrenders to the woman, showing that his life, without her, is equivalent to death.

This song, therefore, expresses a truly romantic attitude. The content of this musical lyrics reminds us of what the writers of the romantic era felt when they wrote. For those who know that they chose their girlfriend or wife well, and they don’t want to lose her, this song is a good opportunity to try to fix the relationship and make peace with her.

In general terms, this is the content of this great TONY AMADO’s tape that has the title “NÃO BAZA”.

Matias DamásioAmo Essa Mulher

In terms of content, it is part of the philosophy of the Angolan singer, Matias Damásio, to present, in his songs, the image of two main people: a man and a woman. The man appears as someone who suffers out of love for a woman. The woman, on the other hand, is presented with the image of a person who has the natural power to make the man feel an unavoidable love for her, regardless of the situation.

In the song ¨Amo Essa Mulher¨, the content is almost the same: it portrays the scenario of a man who expresses his feeling of love for a woman, whose behaviour is inappropriate for being in a couple. In other words, she is a woman who is always on the streets and goes with any man, including young ones. In fact, this kind of behaviour is one that – in my opinion – no side of the couple would accept inside their relationship.

On the other hand, Matias Damasio presents a public who speaks, comments and criticises this woman’s conduct, in an attempt to make the man break up with her. However, the love that he feels for this woman is much stronger, and, for that reason, even in spite of her misconduct, nothing makes the man retreat.

Some statements by the lyrical subject, meaning the voice of the man who sings in the music, prove very well what I have said so far, like: ¨Arruaceira, you go with everyone … ¨ (“Arruaceira, vai com todos…¨); ¨She likes the forbidden fruit … ¨ (¨Tem simpatia no fruto proibido…¨); ¨I love this Woman so much … ¨ (¨Eu amo muito essa Mulher…¨); ¨People only speak but they are useless… ¨ (¨O povo só fala mas nada que me dá…¨); ¨She has the juice of my favorite fruit… ¨ (¨Ela tem o sumo da minha fruta preferida…¨) and so many others.

What is the lesson that this song can convey to us?

The song ¨Amo Essa Mulher, by Matias Damásio¨ can awaken us to being prudent in our decision-making, within the conjugal life, meaning that sometimes we have to ignore what other people say. After all, other people don’t always help. On the contrary, many times, they only harm. What matters is the love we feel for our partner, not what other people say.

Yannick Afroman – Bakongo ft. Sam Mangwana, Socorro, Kyaku Kyadaff, Gilmário Vemba

The song “Bakongo” by Yanick Afroman, with the participation of other artists as well as the comedian Gilmário Vemba, took first position of the previous edition of “Top dos Mais Querido” (dearest), in other words, it was considered as the most listen to and loved song by the public from Angola in 2019. It belongs to the Rap style. And this was an unprecedented event in the history of Angolan music, since it is the first Rap style song to occupy the first position in the edition of Top dos Mais Queridos.

“Bakongo” is one of the ethnic groups of Angola (Bakongo people), as well as Tchokwe, Kuanhama, Ovimbundu, Ambundu and so on. However, Luanda, being the capital of Angola, is the province where people from different parts of Angola are concentrated. This, however, has generated prejudices and indiscrimination on the part of Luandans (natives of Luanda and who identify themselves as ambundu people) in relation to individuals from other ethnicities and provinces. And the bakongos, in turn, suffer the most.

In this way, Yanick Afroman’s music, entitled “Bakongo”, is welcome because it brings a critical view of the ethnic complexes that Angolan society still unfortunately lives. By carefully following the music, it is possible to identify elements that lead us to the superiority and inferiority complexes. In the same way, it is possible to identify others that make us understand the spirit of pride, affirmation and self-esteem in assuming ethnicity and the land of origin. For example, the excerpt below, taken from the lirics of music, makes us understand the attitude of the complex of superiority and ethnic indiscrimination:

“Langa, Zairense
Assim éramos chamados
De tanto complexo
Até hoje muitos são embarrados
Conheço isso desde puto”…
“Langa, Zairense
So we were called
So complex
Even today many are embarrassed
I’ve known it since I was a kid ”…

The following excerpt reflects the attitude of an inferiority complex on the part of citizens who suffer indiscrimination:

“Você lhe pergunta se é Bakongo
Para te responder… bué de volta
A porque não sou de cá
Os meus é que são de lá”…
“You ask him if he’s Bakongo
To answer you… long ago
Because I’m not from here
My parents are from there ””…

In the face of these complex problems, the lyrical subject uses music to try to deal with such problems. Therefore, it draws to consciousness individuals with the superiority and inferiority complexes, in an attempt to both change their mentality. For individuals with the superiority complex, the lyrical subject says the following:

“Tem que acabar com essa
coisa de tribalismo
Porque eu não tou esse,
porque é do sul
Eu não vou com aquele,
porque é do norte
O importante nesta terra é
ser angolano
De Cabinda ao Cunene
Do mar ao leste
É qualé terra que
sobrou aí? ”…
“You have to end this tribalism
thing Because I’m not
from this group,
because it’s
from the south
I’m not going
with that one,
because he’s
from the north
The important
thing in this land
is to be Angolan From
Cabinda to Cunene
From the sea to the east
All Is that what’s
left over there?”…

The expressions above lead us to understand the lyrical subject’s concern to cultivate the spirit and the value of unity among Angolans, regardless of ethnic and territorial belonging.

Whereas for complex individuals, the lyrical subject says:

“Hoje quando me perguntam se eu sou donde?
Com todo respeito
Eu respondo a sorrir:
Eu sou Bakongo, bakongo, bakongo (cinco vezes)”
“Tu nunca fujas da tua origem
Não tenhas vergonha de onde saíste”…
“Today when asked if I’m from where?
With all respect
I answer smiling:
I am Bakongo, bakongo, bakongo (five times) ”
“You never run away from your origin
Don’t be ashamed of where you came from”…

With these words, it can be deduced that the lyrical subject intends to stimulate pride, acceptance, affirmation and above all self-esteem in the complex country of origin.

As always, Yanick Afroman sang songs with content related to society’s behavior and procedure.

Gerilson Insrael – Casa Comigo

This is the lyrics of Gerilson Insrael and its titled Casa Comigo (Marry me). For those who are not aware of this song, now know that, on 26/09/2019, the day the Gala do Top do Mais Querido was celebrated, the song was in third position among the 10 songs selected for this contest. This time, we as Join Angola, would like to congratulate the Angolan singer, for getting another trophy in his career!

The massification of the Angolan culture is at the base of the passion of Join Angola’s great objective, because of that, we do everything so that the world knows more about Angola in its cultural aspect. Hence our explanation: The THE BEST OF ANGOLA- to the world we present!

This time, we thought to present to the world the rich content of Angola’s third most beloved song in 2019.

This song can refer us to various themes among them may be the one of destruction. This can be seen from the very first stanza:

“Te disseram
que eu não sou homem p’ra ti
Me disseram que és de mais p’ra mim
Até inventaram que eu costumo a te trair
Na tentativa de nos destruir”.

“They told you
that I’m not a man for you
I am told you are too much for me
They even invented that I usually cheat on you
In an attempt to destroy us ”.

Music presents the state of non conformity of the lyric subject (the voice of music) who, after all, criticizes a group of people who say things with the intention of destroying the good relationship between the lyric subject and his own life partner. And regardless of what they say, the music shows the lyrical subject’s sense of determinism and decisive behavior in marrying the woman to whom he focuses. Focusing on the stanza below, you can see what we just said above:

“Casa comigo mesmo que digam não
Vão nos julgar por ser o que eles não são
Deixa cuidar do teu dócil coração
Já que o meu está em tuas mãos”.
“Marry me if they say no
They will judge us for what they are not
Let me take care of your sweet heart
For mine is in your hands. ”

In fact, the content of this song exactly reflects our daily lives. In our society there are people who for useless reasons always find a mechanism for destroying relationships, marriage, and various homes. Therefore, we can underline two hidden purposes in this song:

  1. Appeal to people who out of envy seek to destroy the relationship of certain spouses;
  2. Provide the spirit of determination and courage in times when we are underestimated by certain people.

So regardless of the ill-sayings that come from envious, relationship-destroying people, go ahead, fight for the person you love and feel good and happy with, for nothing in this world is worth it if you’re not happy.

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Elaborado por: André Armindo Segunda

Rui Orlando – Me Leva Contigo

Join Angola has been doing its best to share Angolan culture around the world. This time, we want to bring you an overview of Rui Orlando’s song titled “Me Leva Contigo” which, by the way, was in the list of the 10 most beloved songs for 2019, (ie “o Top dos Mais Queridos 2019”).

Some say the song “Me Leva Contigo” (literally, “Take me With You”) belongs to the genre of kizomba, while others associate it with Zouk. I personally agree with the second interpretation, as the rhythm is much more closely related to Antillian Zouk than to Kizomba.

Concerning the content, the song revolves around a poetic self that is aware of its insufficiency to correspond to the good treatment and affection that the woman dedicates to him. We confirm the following from this excerpt of the song:

Eu tenho mil defeitos mas tu consegues ver (além)

Tudo que ha errado fazes transparecer que vai ficar tudo bem

Elevas esse homem

Eu falho tanto mas isso não te fez mudar (eu sei)

Prometo mais do que aquelo que posso dar

Acho que eu não mereço

Todo este afeto

I have a thousand defects but you can see (beyond them)

Everything that goes wrong, you make it clear that it will be alright

You make this man better

I fail so much but it didn’t make you change (I know)

I promise more than I can give

I don’t think I deserve

All this affection

On the other hand, you can notice the will and desire of the same subject (or poetic self) to want to surrender to the woman, in the same way, to recognise her strong qualities. Let us consider the following stanza:

Eu peço a Deus que guie sempre os meus pés

Me deixe ver a mulher forte que tu és

Que cubra o meu corpo com a luz desse olhar

Que todos os dias possa conquistar

I ask God to always guide my feet

Let me see the strong woman you are

To cover my body with the light of that look

May I conquer her every day

Another fact that is also important to emphasise is the transforming power of the woman for the poetic self: for the poetic self, there is nothing else but the woman to make his life complete. This can be seen in the following verse: Só tu para me completar” = Just you to complete me

Therefore, at the content level, we can consider this song to be romantic and that it can be useful in fixing certain disagreeable relationships.

Written by André Armindo Segunda