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Kizomba is a music genre whose origin can be found in the PALOP countries: Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola and Mozambique (Portuguese-speaking African countries, former colonies). In mid-1970s - with the presence of Cuban soldiers in Angola, who brought zouk to the country - several Angolan artists started to create songs that derived from semba - traditional fast Angolan music danced in couples - but slower, more romantic and with synthetic sounds. It quickly won over the audience.  It was danced alongside merengue, semba and other styles. They were called farras or kizombadas in the parties. That is how the word kizomba appeared.

Cape Verde was influenced by Antillean zouk, several Cape Verdean artist started to create songs that derived from coladeira, but with a Caribbean touch that captivated Cape Verdean audience and was danced often.

In mid-1990s, the expression kizomba started to be used in Portugal to describe all African music that was danced in African Dance Clubs in the main cities of the country. Nonetheless, currently the word “kizomba” is used to make a reference to this music genre - it can be a tarraxinha (close dance) or a passada (more space and more open) - mostly in the parties where African rhythms mix up with the Caribbean ones - semba as a traditional genre, less romantic and more cheerful, virtuous and provocative.