After starting out early in music, he grew to become one of the most admired musician-****-businessman. His songs cost him a severe warning from the Catholic Church. Georges Kiamwangana Verkys’ musical career started as a youth playing sax in a church fanfare band.
Born in the province of Low-Congo, Kisantu, on May 19, 1944, Verkys grew to appreciate the way King Curtis honked out his style of American soul and R&B. After doing rounds in many other groups, Verkys formed part of the musical group of Gerard Kazembe. At the age of 20, he was recruited to Luambo Makiadi Franco’s OK Jazz to play second sax to Isaac Musekiwa and soon became Franco’s right-hand man. He arrived here with a trumpet player Christophe Djali, singer Henriette Boranzima and Dele Pedro. The year was 1963.
For the next few years he brought some raucous excitement to the OK Jazz repertoire with his modern interpretation of Kongo folklore rhythms and provided visual entertainment with his hippie style of clothing and frenetic dance routines. In 1968, Verkys and Youlou Mabiala realized with some musicians in O.K Jazz they could record separately and move on. So while Franco was away touring Europe, Verkys took the core of the band into the studio and cut several of his own records.
Upon his arrival from his tours, Franco demanded some percentage forcing Verkys to go solo and set up his own Orchestre Veve. He unvailed the Orchestra Veve on April 5, 1969 in Kinshasa. The group quickly climbed the ladder with hit after hit. Joining the group were the likes of Saak Saakul, Marcel Loko Massengo who originated from Congo Brazzaville, Djeskain, Mario Matadidi among others.
In 1972, Sinatra, Djeskain and Mario left Veve. They formed the Sosoliso Orchestra. Accordingly, they called themselves trio My-dje-if, the initials of Mario-Djeskain-Sinatra. They later headed to Brazzaville, and recorded in Socodi. This proved an expensive programme on the part of Verkys. He was forced to recruit other musicians and launched the song Fifi and Kelly launched Ndona, which became very successesful.
When he launched Nakomitunaka in 1972, he required the voice of youngster Pepe Kalle to sing alongside Jose Bebe. This song raised the question of why all the saints were white and was clearly influenced by the wave of the authenticity. The song cost Kiamwangana Verkys a severe warning from the Catholic Church. After forming his record company, Veve Editions, the beginning was difficult for this 25 year old young man, but determination saw him conquer. He equipped his studio with musical equipments. With the rise of many orchestras in the 70s, Verkys helped produce their music.
At one time when James Brown toured Kinshasa he admitted that Verkys was “Mister Dynamite.”
In 1974, the Veve Editions established several groups like Zaïko Langa Langa. Zaiko helped in the building of Veve Centre, which became a sanctuary of several upcoming groups like Grand Zaïko Wa Wa, Langa Langa Stars, Victoria Eleison, Mbonda Africa, Afro International and Wenge Musica. The year 1978 saw Verkys recording, producing and distributing Sango ndambu, Asso, Samba-Samba, Synza, Anibo of Koffi Olomide. In 1980, Veve Editions become EVVI (Editions Veve International) and continued to support several groups, such as Zaïko Langa Langa, Koffi Olomide, Empire Bakuba, Afrisa, O.K Jazz, Taz Bolingo the all female orchestra, Tiers-Monde, Grand Zaïko Wa Wa, Langa Langa Stars, Mbonda Africa, and Afro International, among others.