Madilu System (1950-2007)

Jean Bialu Madilu a.k.a. Madilu System or le Grand Ninja will be remembered for his legendary duets with the great Franco. Starting his career in 1969 with a young band called Symba, he joined for short stints various band, such as Orchestre Bamboula, Festival des Maquisards, Fiesta Populaire before creating Bakuba Mayopi with guitarist Yossa Taluki and a singer called Pires in 1973 (cf. Gary Stuart: Rumba on the River). After three years he left the band to create his own, initially called Orchestre Pamba-Pamba and later renamed into Madilu System. After the lack of success of Pamba Pamba, and a short period with Tabu Ley's Afrisa, he eventually joined Franco's TP OK Jazz in the early 1980s, where he became a respected and successful composer and singer. Among others, his role was prominent in hit songs such as « Non », « Mario », « Réponse de Mario » (1985), « La Vie des hommes » (1986) and « Mamou (Tu Vois?) » (1984).

Shortly after Franco's death in 1989 Madilu left the band to start a solo career and released a number of successful albums. He remained faithful to his particular way (system) of singing, hence his name Madilu System, and to his signature laughter he used in numerous songs. In 2006, he featured on Kekele's album « Kinavana » on the song « Tapale ». In addition, he reprised the song « Mario » on Africando's album « Ketukuba ».

In spring 2007, Madilu recorded « Bonne humeur ». His husky voice was no longer so high but he still sung very well, and with the help of guitar players Syran M'Benza, Caien Madoka, Fofo le Collegien, Dally Kimoko and Papa Noel, and singers Nyboma and Wuta Mayi, who both wrote one song on the album (the other 8 songs were by Madilu). It is seen as one of his best albums.
On August 11 of the same year, Madilu died in a Kinshasa hospital. He was suffering from diabetis, but nobody expected this loss, and shortly after, "Thousands of fans have taken to the streets of the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital to mourn Madilu System, known as 'Congo's King of Rumba'." (BBC NEWS). On the DVD Dernière volonté there are images of the funeral ceremonies, quite unusual on a commercial music DVD.

Madilu System
Madilu System 

• Musicians on the album Sans Commentaire:
Lead vocal: Madilu, Ballou Canta
Vocals: Djeffard Lukombo Mayemba, Nyboma Mwan Dido, Wuta Mayi
Guitars: Dally Kimoko, Syran M'Benza, Lokassa Ya Mbongo (rhythm)
Bass: Pablo Lubadika, Ngouma Lokito

Born: 28 May 1950 in Matadi, as Jean de Dieu Bialu Makiese, died 11 August 2007 in Kinshasa
Style: Congolese rumba

Title Year Label Remarks
Dernière volonté 2008 Syllart CD & DVD
Bonne humeur 2007 Stern's STCD1104
Bonne humeur 2007 Syllart
Le tenant du titre 2004 K.T.C. 02198-2
Bonheur 2002 JPS Production
Pouvoir 2000 Sonodisc
L'eau 1999 JPS Production
Opération quatre 1996 Cascade CP568
Album 95 1995 Sonodisc CD 79898
Sans commentaire 1993 Syllart 38132-2 Also on Stern's STCD1055 (1994)
Na Pokwa Ya Lelo 1991 Espera 29091 LP, also referred to as Kamikaze or Kamariza
Stop feu rouge - voisin 1990 Bleu Cara´bes 82804 With Nyboma, Pepe Kalle & Simaro
  - Compilation CD of Nyboma & Madilu Stop feu rouge-voisin and Pepe Kalle chante le poète Simaro (JM Production 91080)
Albums by Josky Kiambukuta & Madilu System:
Chiffre 3 2005 OGP/Atoll
Les deux grands numéros:
Destin (version originale)
1998 Ngoyarto NG041 (1998) /
PAV100075 (2007)
CD compilation with Carlyto Lassa and Malage
Destin - la sincerité 1989? Mondjo prod. LP

Sources (now obsolete link)
Page added December 2009