Kuduro dancer and musician Fogo de Deus comes from a long line of Angolan artists who are at the top of their craft. After getting his big break working with the legendary Tony Amado, Fogo de Deus has created his own niche as one of the elite artists on the Kuduro scene. We caught up with Fogo during a break in the Os Kuduristas tour, which he has been partcipating in this fall. www.oskuduristas.com
- What does Kuduro mean to you?
Kuduro has changed my life. It has given me an opportunity to be an artist, along with so many other opportunities. It makes me very happy. Kuduro has made me what I am today, Fogo de Deus. I can’t imagine what else that can do with this life.
- Where does you inspiration to dance come from?
My inspiration to dance began with traditional dance. Traditional dance gave me a start, and then I started doing Kuduro, which is something that makes me happy to do because I wanted to continue dancing beyond just traditional. Kuduro has so much to do with my personality.
- What have you learned about yourself through Kuduro?
I used to be really shy. Kuduro helped me to open up more to people. I didn’t use to feel very comfortable around people, but now I do. Through this dance I feel so much better with myself.
- How influential has Manuel Kanza been on your career as a dancer?
I have been dancing Kuduro all my life ever since I was young. I met Kanza 6 years ago after I saw him on TV. He’s a great dancer and I love working with him. He gives me so much advice – like a brother, father, and friend. I’m grateful for my friendship with him. He’s a great choreography.
- How do you feel about representing Angola through dancing Kuduro?
To be doing this for my country, after dancing for for so many years, gives me pleasure. Also I’m even more proud to be here when I think of the people that thought I wouldn’t make it. But I did. For me, to be doing this for Angola makes me happy. It gives me motivation. Kuduro is my thing and I have so much love for it.
- The Os Kuduristas Tour is your first time outside of Angola, how has your first experience aboard been for you? Did you have high expectations? Any surprises?
This has gone beyond my expectations. When people talk about Kuduro I feel like they’re talking about Fogo – even if not for me, I feel a responsibility to represent. I never thought I would come this far. I am so glad to be here doing my thing and what I love to do.
Big surprise is the battles in all the cities that I’ve been to – because we have gone against the best in these places, the most professional dancers around the world. We’re dancing against some people and in places that I’ve seen on TV my whole life. It’s a huge surprise and I can only say thank you to the biggest sponsor of this, that made this possible – God.
- What has been the response from the people who’ve seen you dance in Stockholm, Paris and Amsterdam for the Os Kuduristas tour?
Like I always say, thank God for everything. The reception we have been receiving is really great throughout all these cities. I am so happy to be doing this because people are loving our style and the way I dance. We are seeing positive responses.
- What do you want the European fans to walk away from when they encounter the Kuduro experience?
What I want them to know is Kuduro is fun. I want them to think Fogo + Kuduro = fun. I also want people to remember that Kuduro is good for your health and body, not only the dance but also the music.
I am a Kuduro dancer and I sing Kuduro and speak Burgues which is the Kuduro language. I have so many ways of expressing myself. When people talk about Kuduro I feel like they’re talking about me because I embody Kuduro.
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