With his band Makina Loca, the Los Angeles-based singer Ricardo Lemvo produces an appealing blend of African and Cuban music that has earned him a worldwide following. Lemvo's early recordings drew mainly from Congolese rumba and soukous mixed with Cuban son and salsa. His 1998 hit "Mambo Yo Yo," which appeared on the first of two albums he released on Putumayo, can be heard to this day pouring out of taxicabs and on salsa club dance floors in Cartagena, New York, Tokyo, Paris and beyond.
Lemvo hails from M’Banza-Kongo, Zaire in Northern Angola. He grew up in Congo-Kinshasa where he was introduced to Cuban music by a cousin who owned a large collection of vintage Cuban LPs. Lemvo came to the US more than 30 years ago to pursue a law degree but ended up devoting his life to music. Since forming his band Makina Loca in 1990, Lemvo has toured extensively in Europe, Australia, Latin America, and Africa and released six previous albums.
With their latest release, "La Rumba SoYo," Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca have created an exciting new album that retains their appealing salsa meets soukous grooves and blends them with the Angolan rhythms and styles that have been such an inspiration to Lemvo in recent years. "La Rumba SoYo" is a multinational undertaking that was recorded in three continents and four countries (US, Canada, France, Angola). It took Lemvo three years to complete and sees him looking back to his Angolan roots for inspiration. Three of the songs were written in collaborations with Angolan artists (Calo Pascoal, Kyaku Kyadaff, Adao Filipe) and the styles featured include Cuban and African rumba and soukous, Angolan kizomba and Cuban son and salsa. The title track is an upbeat and irresistible tropical groove that will certainly be one of the party anthems of this summer and many years to come.