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Mose 'Fan Fan'

Mose Se Sengo 'Fan Fan' began his very successful career as a  guitarist in Kinshasa in the 1960s. He had learnt some chords while at a catholic missionary school and then was self-taught. He played in several different bands, including the famous Orchestre Revolution and then became most well known for playing 2nd guitar in O.K. Jazz with Franco from 1967-1974. The two of them had a unique style of playing guitar together. After that Mose realised that he could do well on his own and left Zaire and, together with Youlou Mabalia,formed his own band, Somo Somo, spending time in Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya and recorded the album  Belle Epoque that was later reproduced on the RetroAfric label in 1986 (see CDs). In 1979 Fan Fan was contracted to play in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and formed a band called Matimila with Remmy Ongala. In Tanzania he was also part of Orchestre Makassy.
Mose went to Britain in 1983 and has been based there since then. To begin with there were very few African musicians in Britain to accompany him but now there are quite a number, as well as those based in Paris who can accompany him. Mose frequently goes back to Congo in order to keep in touch with musical developments there. 
In 1993 Fan Fan went to Belgium to form the group Bana O.K. This band consisted of a number of former members of Franco's O.K. Jazz, including Papa Noel. They recorded an album called Bakitani (see CDs). In

1995 the Hello Hello CD (see CDs) was released, with some musicians from the original Somo Somo featuring. The Congo Acoustic CD came out in 1999 to great acclaim (see CDs). In 2000, Mose played at The Barbican in March and a most memorable gig with Papa Noel at WOMAD in July (see Photos). He took 'A Night in Kinshasa' to various venues in Britain in September, including The Spitz in London (see photo on this page and others in Photos) and Fiddlers in Bristol. He was on tour again in 2002. In early 2005 Fan Fan has a new CD, Bayekeleye with 7 wonderful rumba songs.
Listening to Fan Fan's CDs or playing live, you know for sure that you are in touch with true, pure Congolese rumba music and all its history. Several of his songs have been selected for compilations. Some of his compositions are instrumentals but on all the CDs mentioned in this profile Fan Fan sings as well as playing guitar, his deep voice contrasting well with the backing vocals of Déesse on The Congo Acoustic

Click on the CD cover to hear part of the track 'Sherita'