Le Général Defao
has become particularly popular as a singer, dancer
and band leader especially during the 1990s. He started singing in local bands in Kinshasa as early as 1976,
for instance in Orchestre Suka Movema
, Fogo Stars
and Somo West
Defao was influenced by Zaiko Langa Langa
singers of the early years, Papa Wemba
, Gina Efonge
, but Tabu Ley Rochereau
and still is his main inspiration.
In 1981, Defao enters Grand Zaiko Wa Wa
, the band of guitar wizzard Felix Manuaku
. Between 1983 and 1991,
he is part of the Choc Stars
, led by Ben Nyamabo
In 1991, he created his own band, les Big Stars
and recorded a number of albums since.
A gifted singer and dancer, Defao has become quite famous in Central Africa. He was one of the first Congolese musicians
who valued the importance of TV appearances and videoclips as a means to gain success. Defao is known for his exuberant
lifestyle, always well dressed and apart from being a singer he is also a gifted dancer. In search for a representative
appearance, he has been struggling with a weight problem for years and was trying to lose some of his 115 kilogrammes.
In 2001 he left Kinshasa for Zambia, and settled later in Nairobi, Kenya.
After 2000, he was sometimes written off by the critics and by the public, as he wasn't able to continue his successes from the
1990s, but his latest album, bearing the curious title « The Undertaker »
proves that he still has the talent to make people dance. The commercial success was limited because of a lack of promotion.
In December 2021, Defao was in Cameroon for a New Year’s Eve concert. Unfortunately, he fell ill and a Covid19 infection proved
to be fatal in conjunction with his diabetic condition.