Kizomba describes both a music style and a dance style. Kizomba is an Angolan word which means “party” in the Kimbundu language.Kimbundu is one of the most widely spoken languages in Angola within the ethnic group called Bantu. The Angolan expression Kizombadas in the 50’s referred to a big party, but there was no link with the dance nor with the music as we know it today.
Apart from Angola, Kizomba dance and music is also performed in other lusophone countries (Portugese speaking countries) such as Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Equatorial Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, East Timor, Brazil and the territory of Macau. Yet, its popularity is also growing rapidly in the Western world and nowadays Kizomba can be found in many parts of the world.
Kizomba music was born in Angola (in Luanda) in the 80’s following the influences of traditional Semba music (the predecessor of Samba from Brazil) and Zouk music from the groupe Kassav from the French Caribbean Island Guadeloupe. On this basis, Kizomba music emerged as a more modern music genre with a sensual touch mixed with African rhythm. Unlike Semba, Kizomba music is characterised by a slower and usually very romantic rhythm. Given that Angola is a former Portuguese colony, Portuguese is the principal language spoken in Angola and thus, also most Kizomba songs are sung in Portuguese. However, Kizomba songs of the very beginning were song in Kimbundu and in other National languages of Angola.