Recommended Listening – Zap Mama – a ma zone

Zap Mama is basically the vocal and musical creation of Marie Daulne. Her father was Belgian and her mother is Congolese and she brings European and African music together combined with some American influence as well. She sings in French and English and also some African languages as well. The vocals are the star, the driving force in the music. Their first records were as a female a cappella group. Five vocalists, Marie Daulne, her sister Anita, Sylvie Nawasadio, Sabine Kabongo, Angelique Willkie and they are all of mixed European/African decent. Marie Daulne said “the original idea of Zap Mama was five singers who would be one. There is no chief. The power of voices was my thing. I wanted to show the world the capacity of five women exploring…our voices and our minds, nothing else.” And those albums are great, but then she got into adding instruments and some male influence as well so the group expanded. Sometimes an artist has an album that fires on all cylinders, where everything comes together just perfectly. This is one of those albums. Every song brings it. All different yet fitting together to make an even greater whole. A Ma Zone, in my zone; Amazon, the female warrior. Marie is an amazing woman. They are all great singers. Well worth a listen!

Now I have to say if you are listening to the streaming version, it has two extra songs added to it. I think they ruin the flow and they are up front. The first two songs. Iko Iko (recorded for mission impossible the same year) and the Rafiki (DNA remix) from after the album came out and Rafiki was on the radio. Make a playlist and skip them and put Rafiki up front. It’s last on the streaming version. That’s how the album originally went when it came out on CD.

If you’re intrigued you should also read the Wikipedia page on Zap Mama it gives some background on Marie and it’s very interesting.

Gissié – is a largely a cappella cut with some percussion and little other things. Incredible! If you just listen to one from this album this is it. What they do with voices is so cool. Vocals as instruments.

Check it out

Also check out the single Rafiki that has Black Thought joining in.