Kanda Bongo Man (born Bongo Kanda1955) is a Congolese soukous musician.
Kanda Bongo Man was born in Inongo, Democratic Republic of the Congo. He became the singer for Orchestra Bella Mambo of Soki Dianzenza in 1973, developing a sound influenced by Tabu Ley. His solo career only started to take off after moving to Paris in 1979, where his music started to incorporate elements of then-vibrant zouk music popularized by Kassav (originating in the French West Indies). His first solo albums, "Iyole" in 1981 and "Djessy" in 1982, were hits.
In 1983 he was invited to perform in Womade festival, 2005 in Africa Calling than in 2006 he peeformed with Jimmy Cliff and Miriam Makeba in Australia (Womadelaide festival).
Also, 2012, he performed in Malawi (state house), Barbados and Malaysia at Rainforest festival of world music.
He is known for the structural changes he implemented to soukous music. The previous approach was to sing several verses and have one guitar solo at the end of the song. Kanda Bongo Man revolutionized soukous by encouraging guitar solos after every verse and even sometimes at the beginning of the song. His form of soukous gave birth to the kwassa kwassa dance rhythm where the hips move back and forth while the hands move to follow the hips.
Like many African rumba and soukous musicians before him, Kanda Bongo Man also had an entourage of musicians.
Kanda Bongo Man still tours in Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States.