PART I-1980'S: SUCCESS FROM CONGO TO ITALY
Shiko started out like many other great musicians, such as Lokassa, with the genius Tabu Ley. He then backed M'bilia Bel on her solo career. This encounter was Shiko's respectful way of bringing ladies to the frontline as serious singers. It has been said that the misuse of female artists to perform certain dance styles in male dominated acts, turn off westerners who are attracted to African music for its human feel and authenticity.
This is a Verckys original classic by Shiko and the late Mimi Ley, with Afro International, after his departure from Tabu Ley. Back when too many talented Congolese musicians were struggling to find work, Shiko's compositions were given due credit and recognition by the legendary producer Verckys. Shiko's style became influenced during this time by his mentor, Mimi Ley, who sadly passed away while on tour in Tanzania.
This CD provides the best opportunity to hear Shiko's earlier work in the reissue of some tracks from Pepe Kalle's 1986 LP, Souci ya Likinga. Shiko penned both Mbata Na Mokongo [#3] and Fungola Ngai [#4], at a time when band leaders respected all contributors. His musical style fused perfectly with the late Pepe's magnificently soothing baritone. This CD reissue was at the top of the World Music Genre for two months in 2004.
Déesse Mukangi started her career when she made her debut and Shiko accompanied her honey-voiced melodies. Despite the fact that her sound is glorious and irresistible, she opted not to pursue international fame like M'bilia Bel's recognition and remained in supporting musical roles as a sideshow to spice up the Anti-Choc band (since the male public prefers to admire beautiful dancers), before embarking on a brief solo carrier.
Pepe Kalle was unlike other band leaders who hog the credit while keeping other members in the background. In this CD, he featured Nyboma's incredible voice in their collaboration with Shiko, who co-wrote the album's track title, Moyibi, released in 1988. The enormous success of this album, launched Pepe Kalle's popularity into orbit. When Shiko moved to Italy, his fate was sealed as one of best composers of Congolese music.