We had the pleasure to spend more time with To Costa, a Kizomba music & African music DJ, Kizomba & Semba dance instructor and phenomenal person, at the Like Festival 2013 were we where teaching. To Costa was born and raised in Angola, then moved to Portugal, to finally settle in London, where he lives now. He has been DJing since the age of 17 . He started DJing with tapes at house parties, starting with his mom’s tapes, with artists like Roberta Miranda from Brazil, that her mom listened to all the time. So, he didnt start as a Kizomba music Dj. His passion for music actually started with Reggae, with artists like: Lucky Dube , UB40 and of course the great Bob Marley.
He grow up with music all around him. His grandmother used to be a drummer for one of the biggest bands in Angola, and other members of his family also played in other bands. So music was no strange to To Costa.
A friend told him he had talent for DJing and with his passion and drive, he is now a very well sought after Kizomba music DJ and instructor all over the world.
When To Costa started DJing they used to be called “African Music DJs”. They had to be very technical as they had to be able to play anything from Rock, to Hip Hop, to R&B, to any african beat, balads, and be able to mix any and all of it. And that also applies to Getto Zouk, wrongly called (according to To Costa) Tarraxina. To Costa explains that they imported from the R&B, the technique of playing only 2m of each song and mixing with the next. It is a very hard technique, since the music has to change smoothly at exactly 2m and have the next song start on the beat number one, for the dancers not to skip a step, live!! . This takes years of training. The mixes are done again live and the selection of music chosen, is also very important. So they have to know their craft.
In Palop (Países Africanos de Língua Oficial Portuguesa, African countries that have portuguese as their main language ) clubs, the mix of music usually is 40% Semba, 40% Kizomba and 20% Getto Zouk and some animations with Reggae, Afro Beat, Afro house or other rythms. In western countries, the selection of Getto Zouk is much bigger. So in many congresses they even have a dedicated room or time for Getto Zouk.
To Costa also gives a short version story of the musical evolution of Kizomba starting from the origins in Zouk from Kassav group, and how that music mixed differently in each Palop country, and then all the musicians converging in Portugal. Kizomba music has been enriched by the huge boom all over the world, but we can’t forget the roots and need to understand better the music, to make better interpretations as dancers.
Watch the whole interview, as every minute is packed with interesting stories and information!!!
What do you think about the interview?? Do you agree with what he says?? Do you disagree?? Do you know more about Kizomba music?? Share with us!
And Keep your Hips On Fire!!!
To contact To Costa, you can reach him at his facebook page: facebook.com/tocosta.dangola
To Costa D’Angola