Manu Chao

By • Mar 3rd, 2009 • Category: Alternative, Music, Punk, Reggae, World
Manu Chao

Manu Chao

Manu Chao is a great little find, he has been entertaining my head for a couple of months now.

He is a French Latin folk singer of French and Spanish (Basque/Galician) origin.  He moved to Paris as a very young child, when his parents decided to escape the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

During the Eightie’s, Manu Chao experimented with a number of different genres of music, including punk and rockabilly, before starting his band Mano Negra with his brother Antoine and some friends. His “stage name” in Mano Negra was Oscar Tramor. Mano Negra played a combination of rock, punk, rockabilly, ska and Latin music, and became wildly popular in Europe and South America.

After the breakup of Mano Negra, Manu Chao began to perform as a solo artist. His music is even more experimental than that of Mano Negra, with an even heavier focus on Ska, Rai and Latin Music. He plays the guitar, and is usually accompanied by a band called Radio Bemba Sound System, which includes horns, keyboards and various world musical instruments.

Manu Chao’s lyrics touch on a variety of issues, from the mundane and even silly (“King of the Bongo”) to love, poverty and world politics. He sings in at least seven languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, Galician, English, Arabic and Wolof, often in the same sound (you have to love compulsive over achievers).

Manu Chao is decidedly left-wing, politically, and is very critical of various governmental regimes around the world, including the Bush Administration.

From Youtube, Manu Chao – Welcome To Tijuana

Think Punk Afro Carribean with a really solid backing.


Websites at and

is fascinated by guitars, music, guitars, production, silly noises, guitars and used to be a musician. Did I mention the thing about the guitars?
Email this author | All posts by |

Disagree? Leave a comment