Closeup October 6, 2021
Franco Speaks (1985)

In 1985, Sean Barlow made his first trip to Africa to check out musical life there. Afropop Worldwide was still a dream at that point, but the experiences he had on that trip put wind in his sails. One highlight was the afternoon he spent interviewing Luambo Makiadi AKA Franco at the bandleader's home in the Limité neighborhood of Kinshasa. Franco had recently played his first concerts in the United States. Although few outside the African diaspora community had any idea who he was, Franco was by then a legend, a superstar in Africa. In this podcast we hear from the man himself, nestled on a porch swing, his acoustic guitar cradled on his lap, in conversation with a somewhat green American journalist with a bright future.

Produced by Banning Eyre.

Related Audio Programs

Afropop Weigh in on Afropop's digital future and download an exclusive concert from the archives—free!