Ricardo Lemvo grew up in Congo-Kinshasa where he was first introduced to Cuban music by a cousin who owned a large collection of vintage Cuban music LPs, and it became a lifelong obsession for Lemvo.
Lemvo, originally came to the US over 30 years to go pursue a law degree but wound up devoting his life to music with his band Makina Loca, which is heavily inspired by the Cuban music he grew up admiring and listening to as a child.
As for Lemvo’s band, Makina Loca was formed in Los Angles back in the early 90s and their sound, which mixes both Cuban and African music has earned him, and in turn, his band an international following. In fact, his early recordings mixed Congolese rumba and soukous with Cuban son and salsa – and in a way that sounds warmly familiar, if you love the sounds of Afro-Caribbean music.
In fact, when I first heard “Rumba So Yo,” the first single off the Lemvo and Makina Loca’s forthcoming album, La Rumba So Yo, I immediately thought of the rhythms heard on the streets of Corona, Jackson Heights and others. Although interestingly enough, the album draws even more from his Angolan roots and you hear that on the single through the call and response vocals and the gently looping guitar. But hey, the song is funky and a lot of fun.