Staff Benda Bilili eclipse just being a great story; they make some pretty damn good music. The core of the band is four paraplegics who had polio when they were younger, leaving them without the use of their legs (check out their great public service announcement to remind parents to get their kids vaccinated against the disease here). Tired of being rejected by other bands in Kinshasa, the members joined forces, practicing and living in the city zoo while working as street performers across the sprawling Congolese capital. You can't make this stuff up. Discovered by a Belgian producer, the group have now made names for themselves on the World Music scene, recently having released their latest album. Two albums down, the band gained exposure due to their unique story but will be around for a long time due to their unique music. "Osali Mabe" is the perfect introduction to the band's sound: a great mixture of traditional Central Africa call and response backed up by some funky Caribbeanesque groove. The shrieking electric guitar is actually Roger Landu, a teenage street kid who was taken in by the band who made his guitar out of a tin can. The odds they had to go against for me to jam to their sounds were immense, the music even better. Check them out below.
Buy Bouger Le Monde! here