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Angolan Dj and Producer Lau Silva Makes Afro House Music That Celebrates Angolan Culture.

KUTCHE ITANA  Lau Silva’s newest single is the third song by the Angolan Dj and Producer that I have danced to.  As an Afro House fan, I love the sound coming out of Angola and always look to it for rhythms that excite me to dance.  There is a familiarity in the rhythms and melodies that come from Angola; often they remind me of the melodies and rhythms of calypso and soca music from the Caribbean. 

I first discovered Angolan Afro House around 2014 and immediately fell inlove with the sound.  My journey to Angolan Afro House started with New York House music; something I heard on the radio growing up in 90s.  From New York House, I was exposed to other sub-genres in my quest for danceable beats.  I became a Tribal House fan, then it was on to UK House/Garage/Disco House, some where along the line I discovered Trance (the likes of Paul Van Dyke etc), Drum & Bass, Soulful House and lastly South African House.  It was through South African House that I then discovered Angolan Afro House.  Each genre had its appeal but it was South African and Angolan Afro House that really spoke to me.  When I heard the rhythms of South Africa and Angola it was difficult to contain my desire to move in an ancestral way. 

Chances are I’ve heard Lau Silva’s music during my introductory years to Angolan Afro House.  Back then I don’t recall tuning into the specific artist of a track, instead I was more interested in which Djs played sets I most enjoyed.  As I began my journey into learning Angolan Kuduro/Afro House dance, I started tuning in closer to the artists and producers making fire tracks.  Lau’s hit Uthanda Mina caught my ear.  Usually, a song speaks to me when it fully enters my body and inspires me to move. And from the first beat drop on Uthanda I was moving, and a dance video was made.  Then several months later I heard Siga La Luna on a mix and it immediately jumped out having a similar bodily takeover and desire to move.  I hunted everywhere for the song with no luck. It didn’t show on Shazam and the mix failed to identify a track listing. (please djs add a track list when you issue mixes). It wasn’t until sometime in 2023 the song resurfaced on other mixes and I was able to identify it.  By this time I began my journey as a Kuduro dance teacher and knew I needed to introduce my students to this song with a beautiful sequence. 

Flash forward to 2024 and Lau is back with the groovy KUTCHE ITANA, an ancestral like Afro House track that really speaks to me.  I caught up with the Dj and producer to learn more about him, his sound and Angolan Afro House.  

AFROCONEX: Lau, thanks for your time.  Can you introduce yourself ? How long have you been djing and how would you describe your sound ? 

LAU SILVA: Hello, I'm Lau Silva. Angolan DJ and Producer, residing in Luanda/Angola.

And I've been a DJ for 20 years, a professional for 12. And my characteristic style is House Music, more precisely Afro House.

AFROCONEX: Your new song KUTCHE ITANA is beautiful. I love the melodic singing on the track that matches well with the mid tempo rhythm.  The vocals add a uniquely Angolan identity to the song. What was the inspiration for the song, why did you include this type vocals and what does KUTCHE ITANA mean ?

LAU SILVA: Thanks. I always seek inspiration from African elements, which is what I have been exploring. From the vocals to the instruments, African rhythms are rich, and it is in them that I have been traveling.

Kutche Itana means: When it dawns, it will charge.

I could describe my song Kutche Itana as “unprecedented”. Because it was, and has been, a great challenge for me, every song produced. Because I'm always looking for something new and with new people. Therefore, each song is a song; a new experience, a new challenge.

AFROCONEX: In the dance world people are familiar with the faster paced Afro House Angola beats from the likes of Junior No beat, Dj Aka M, Vado Poster etc Few are aware that Angola produces Afro House music like KUTCHE ITANA.  In my opinion there is confusion between the 2 sounds.  Can you help to clarify for us, what would you say are the differences between the 2 Afro House sounds that are coming out of Angola ? 

LAU SILVA: Most producers here have confused Kuduro and House Music, meaning many are unaware of true House. Hence this confusion. The names you mentioned, in my humble opinion, do not produce House Music or Afro House “in this case”. They do produce Beats of Kuduro, but at a slower speed.

Afro House, on the other hand, requires a little more, from vocals (story to be told), melodic line, and specific speed, which vary between 120/125 BPM.

AFROCONEX: On the topic of Afrohouse music from Angola, if someone wants to explore Angolan Afrohouse, what songs would you recommend for them to get an understanding of the sound ? 

LAU SILVA: Just like me, there are many good musicians and producers who highlight afrohouse. Then you could advise listening: 1) Filho of Zua - Homeboyz Azari, 2) Uthanda Mina - Lau Silva & Evstifller feat. Miss Ready 3) Siga La Luna - Lau Silva feat. Mario Suendes

Azari Filho do Zua -- Homeboyz

Uthanda Mina -- Lau Silva

Siga La Luna -- Lau Silva

AFROCONEX: You recently hosted the Siga La Luna event in Luanda. Tell us about the event and your vision/purpose for the event ?

LAU SILVA: With this event, I have already traveled around Angola, bringing it to several other provinces. This was the first time in Luanda was and the experience was subliminal; It was a super event.

The purpose of Siga La Luna is to unite Angola into one people, one nation, to show people that we are together, and that love always wins.

AFROCONEX: Angolan Afro House is excellent as it delivers a rhythm pattern that personally speaks to me.  However in the world of Afro house/Afro Tech music, South Africa dominates, what do you think is necessary to give Angola more visibility on the global stage for Afro House music ? 

LAU SILVA: Firstly, we must value our roots. Show our originality, because Africa is rich, and we have many elements here that the world doesn't know about, so we must look for that and take it to the world. Just as Nigerians have done with their music, I have tried to do with ours. Explore our dialects, add African instruments to Beat and include our traditional dances in videos.

AFROCONEX: Dance has been a powerful marketing tool used to propel the popularity of music. Afrobeats/afropop music from Nigeria and Ghana grew in popularity thanks to viral dance videos dancers created to various songs. Similarly, Amapiano music is experiencing meteoric rise because of various dance moves and challenges made for the songs.  While dances made to specific songs have traditionally been a Kuduro tactic, do you believe that a bridge can be made between the Kuduro/Afro House dance culture of Angola and the Electronic music culture coming from Angola ? 

LAU SILVA: Yes, I believe so. Since Kuduro is a representative style here and which, by the way, carries a contagious energy, I believe that it is always an advantage to implement it in electronic music.

AFROCONEX: How can people keep up to date with your music and all things Lau Silva ? 

LAU SILVA: By accessing social networks you can stay up to date with everything. Instagram: @lausilva_official 

Tiktok: @lausilva_oficial

Spotify: Lau Silva

Check out these mixes by Lau Silva

Of course I personally had to get down to Lau's music

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