Deeply impressed by the music of Congolese collective Kasai Allstars, French-Senegalese director Alain Gomis drew inspiration from their music, and from the voice and character of their singer Muambuyi to write and direct his new fiction movie, entitled "Félicité". The film's eponymous protagonist is a proud, free-willed woman who sets out on a breakneck race through the streets of electric Kinshasa to save her son. Her profession: singer with Kasai Allstars!
The band wrote and performed most of the soundtrack, and appears onscreen playing their own part. Muambuyi's voice is omnipresent, and is being heard everytime Félicité (played by Congolese actress Vero Tshanda) sings in the bars of Kinshasa, backed by Kasai Allstars.
The film was presented in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival 2017, where it obtained the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize. Theatrical release in France & Belgium will take place in late March/early April, other countries will follow.
The "Around Félicité" album includes the film's main pieces, performed by Kasai Allstars and by the Kinshasa Symphonic Orchestra (who specially arranged three works by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt), alongside new tracks by Kasai Allstars, as well as interludes consisting of fragments of dialogues and sound bites taken from the soundtrack.
"Around Félicité" comes with a companion piece: "Félicité Remixes", a collection of 10 remixes of Kasai Allstars tracks by electronic music producers from Europe, North America and Africa, including reworks by Clap! Clap!, Daedelus and Africaine 808. "Félicité Remixes" will be available as a bonus disc included in the CD version of the album, as well as a separate digital album available on all streaming & download platforms.
"Around Félicité" also comes out as a vinyl double-LP including the album plus 5 of the remixes (all 10 remixes will be retrievable with a download code).