Nairobi rhumba fans are in for a treat with the planned launch next weekend of two new songs by a promising young Congolese musician.
L. Rice Matadien stands to reap from the growing renewed interest in rhumba music in Lingala in Kenya in recent years.
There is a fairly good number of Nairobi-based Congolese musicians who have for many years wowed fans with dance music.
But L. Rice, a good vocalist and stage performer himself, has lately devoted some effort and energy to recording his songs.
Besides his recent collaboration with Kenyan rhythm and blues singer Avril, L. Rice has been working on various other recordings and will be going a notch higher by releasing his new titles.
The soft-spoken L. Rice has been shuttling between Kinshasa and Nairobi as he prepares to launch his two songs titled, “Mes larmes” (My tears) and “Soni”.
On “Mes larmes”, L. Rice teamed up with Nairobi-based veteran Congolese star General DeFao Matumona, of the “Sala Noki” hit song fame.
The new L. Rice song is a mid-tembo rhumba ballad with a special message of bringing together people from different backgrounds.
Working with DeFao was an effort by L. Rice to incorporate experience and increase variety in his music.
Having also previously performed alongside top Congolese musicians such as Werra Son and crooner Ferre Gola, their influence is evident in his singing style.
The two new songs, to be launched next Saturday at the Meladen Bar and Restaurant in Nairobi’s Upper Hill area, comes against the backdrop of L. Rice’s recent appearance with Avril in the “Churchill Show” in Nakuru.
In February, the two released a track, “Kitoko” (beautiful in Lingala). It is an enticing blend of L Rice’s rich soothing voice in Lingala with Avril’s Swahili and English, yielding a vibrant dance track.
The track is a blend of rhumba and Kenyan beats. It was mixed, mastered and arranged by Saint P, alongside J. Blessing and Louison.
Speaking to the Nation, L. Rice expressed his delight at recording and performing alongside Kenyan artistes.
“I am looking forward to recording more songs with Kenyans so that we can do more to promote the cultural exchange between Kenya and DR Congo,” L. Rice said.
The singer started his music career in Matadi, DR Congo, before moving to Kinshasa, where Werra Son recruited him into his Orch Wenge Musica Maison Mere in 2006.
After eight years with Wenge, he joined Ferre Gola in 2014. It was Ferre, also a former Wenge member, who inspired L. Rice more as a singer until he made his debut solo release “Paradoxe”.
His other song “Afrika Moja” was released in December last year.
After next week’s launch of “Mes larmes” and “Soni”, L. Rice and his producer are looking forward to him performing some shows in and outside Nairobi to meet his fans and popularise the new singles.