13 Jan 2021


What a classic.... Bopol a la rythmique sans oublier Syran. Nyboma et Wuta Mayi, 2 belles voix....

'Four Stars of Congolese music who came together in the 1980s to produce authentic and accessible African dance music. The Quatre Etoiles (4 Stars) are Syran M'Benza, Wuta Mayi, Nyboma Mwan Dido and Bopol Mansiamina.'

'The musicians officially adopted the name Quatre Etoiles for a second group recording at the end of 1983 for producer Ibrahima Sylla. Known by its lead track, Wuta's composition "Enfant Bamileke," the album was a soukous sizzler whose tremendous popularity brought offers for concert tours.

The song, written by Wuta Mayi, told of his infatuation with a beautiful Bamileke girl from the Camerooian city of Bafoussam. Set to a sizzling groove by drummer Domingo Salsero, the four-song album features inspired guitar picking among Syran, Bopol, and guest artist Pablo Lubadika alongside the horns of the Cameroonian duo Fredo Ngando and Jimmy N'vondo.'

Quatre Etoiles
4 Étoiles, 4 Stars, 4 Stars (Paris), 4 Stars Etoiles, L'Orchestre Quatre Stars, Le 4 Stars Etoile, Les 4 Etoiles, Les Quatre Etoiles, Les Quatre Etoiles Du Zaïre, Les Quatres Etoiles, Quatre Étoiles

'Les Quatre Etoiles was a Soukous (the Congolese dance music of the 1980s and 1990s that was immensely popular throughout Africa and elsewhere) musical group, in existence from 1982 to 1996, consisting of the Paris-based Congolese musicians Bopol Mansiamina (bass and rhythm guitar), Wuta Mayi (vocals), Syran Mbenza (lead guitar) and Nyboma (vocals). It was commonly called a "supergroup," since each of the four members of Les Quatre Etoiles have long established individual musical careers.

The band was formed in Paris in 1982, upon a request to Syran Mbenza from David Ouattara Moumouni, who produced their first album and released it on his Afro-Rythmes label, although they did not adopt Quatre Etoiles as the band's name until a year and a half later, when they recorded their second album in late 1983. The first album was recorded in late December 1982, and included one song by each of the four musicians.

When the group formed, each of its four members was a well-known and prolific musician. Based on its members’ negative experiences with bandleaders such as Franco and Tabu Ley Rochereau, Les Quatre Étoiles was a loose-knit arrangement rather than an exclusive one; during its existence, each of its members continued to release solo records, formed other bands, and played as sidemen in support of other musicians (notably including one another). As two of many examples, in 1988 Syran Mbenza formed another band, Kass Kass, with Passi Jo and Jean-Papy Ramazani, and all four members of Les Quatres Etoiles played on the 1995 album "Hello, Hello" by Mose Fan Fan and Somo Somo Ngobila.

The band also seemed to involve an egalitarian arrangement among the four members -- for example, several of their albums contained four songs, one written by each band member. Finally, its lineup was flexible - a particular version of the band might be missing one member and/or include other African musicians.

Following the end of Les Quatre Etoiles in 1996, in 2000 three of its members (Syran Mbenza, Wuta Mayi, and Nyboma) joined other African musicians to form Kékélé.

The group reunited for at least two concerts in 2010; on June 20, 2010, they played the Afrikafestival Hertme, in the Netherlands, and on July 11, 2010 they played Bozar at Brussels, Belgium, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Although it is difficult to be complete in listing African recordings, from the discography compiled below it appears that they released seven studio albums and three live albums, although one of the three live albums may be a repackaged version of another.

Their album, Sangonini, was produced by the renowned African music producer Ibrahim Sylla. The song "Doly", from Sangoni, enjoyed worldwide popularity, reaching no. 3 in the Colombian music charts. The song "Papy Sodolo", has been covered by Tabu Ley Rochereau, another African musician of note. Another song, "Sangonini", produced in Paris and released in 1993, has also been popular.

Their polished renditions begin in the Soukous tradition, with a slow, harmonious introduction; this then breaks out, again as in the Soukous tradition, into a fast-paced chorus known as the 'sebene' with resonating, repeated electric guitar rhythms in the background, interwoven with a choice assortment of African percussion instruments accompanied by orchestras.' -From Wikipedia

1. Enfant Bamileke 7:19
2. Mawa Na Ngai 7:06
3. Luila 6:22
4. Nvuna Chantal 7:43