Kizomba describes both, a music style and a dance style. Kizomba is an Angolan word that means “party” in the Kimbundu language. Kimbundu is one of the most widely spoken languages in Angola within the ethnic group called Bantu. The Angolan expression Kizombadas in the ’50s referred to a big party, but there was no link with the dance nor with the music as we know it today.
As a music genre, it started to get popular in the late 1990s. Kizomba music was influenced by semba and Caribbean music such as Kompa and Zouk. Angolan semba dancers started to adapt their semba steps according to the tempo and flavor of the Kizomba beats which is much slower than Semba beats.