Defao & The Big Stars (1958-2021)

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, Korotoro and Somo West. Defao was influenced by Zaiko Langa Langa singers of the early years, Papa Wemba, Nyoka Longo, Gina Efonge and Evoloko, but Tabu Ley Rochereau was 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.


Born: as Defao Matumona, 31 December 1958, in Kinshasa. He died 27 December 2021 in Douala, Cameroon
Style: Modern Congolese music / rumba / soukous / ndombolo

Musicians on the album 'Djem's' (1992):
Vocals: General Defao, Bakolo Keta, Djodjo Bayinge, Montana Kamenga, Adoli Bamweniko
Solo Guitar: Jagger Bokoko
Rhythm Guitar: Mogus Santu
Bass: Guy Wa Nzambi; Jean Louis Bikunda
Drums: Richa Cogna Cogna
Percussion: Jeff Kavanda
Keyboards: Apho Synthè
Animation: Azanga, Lidjo

Musicians on the album 'Sala Noki' (1997):
Vocals: General Defao, Angela Rifano, Bakolo Keta, De Bleu Kinanga, Le Jeune Kabose, Montana, Rabbi Makuta, Teddy Bukasa
Solo Guitar: Mosengo Mbala, Nzau, Renato
Rhythm Guitar: Lady Son Mbala
Bass: Jean Louis Bikunda
Percussion (Congas): Charlemagne, Maracasse
Vocals (Animation): Théo Mbala
Title Year Label Remarks
The Undertaker vol. 1 2011 Editions Kaluila / Debs Music
Pur encore 2010 Sound Africa
Anthologie 2008 Babi Editions 000205 CD & DVD
Nzombo le soir 2006 Roma Productions
Nessy de London 2000 JPS Production
Ambiance Plus: Bana Congo vol.2 1999 Roma
Bana Congo vol.1 Made in America 1999 Roma
La guerre de 100 ans 1999 Simon Music S.I.P.E. 29336
Tremblement de terre 1998/99 Simon Music S.I.P.E. 29327 With Le Big Stars
Les Big Stars & les 2 Charlots 1999 Micson 50 001
Copinage 1998 Ets. Ndiaye ND046CD
Sala Noki 1997 Ets. Ndiaye ND041CD
Fan Fan dans Phily Mbala 1996 ANC 095 Album Benson + 2 tracks
Amour interdit 1996 ANC 1957 / Ngoyarto With Le Big Stars
Famille Kikuta (Pitié mon amour) 1996 Defao Production DEF001 Reissue of MJ 01 (1995)
Alvaro 1995 Blue Silver 50392-2
Dernier album 95 1995 ATB 03 With Le Big Stars
Benson 1995 TON 001 With Le Big Stars
Pitié mon amour 1995 Maillot-Jaune MJ 01
Apo / Didi Kikuta 1994 FDB 300191
Donat 1994 FDB 300187
Africa Richesse 1994 Kaluila KL 073 With Le Big Stars
Système D 1993 CBC CD 20 With Le Big Stars
La Saga de Defao 1993 FDB 300 101 CD reissue of « Chagrin dimone  » and « La Force Tranquille »
Djem's 1992 Sonodisc CD 65052
Amour scolaire 1992 Sonodisc CD 60330
Engunduka 1992 FDB 300 071 With Le Big Stars
Hitachi 1990 AN 0908 DF LP
Aime la Congolaise 1989 RMU 900 LP
La Force Tranquille 1989 ANC 1198 LP
Niki et José 1988 Sacodis LS 93 LP
Chagrin dimone 1988 Kaluila KL 013 LP - with Choc Stars

Page added April 2002