Zap Mama

Decades: 1990s 2000s


Female vocal group Zap Mama came to international prominence in the 90s by perfecting a blend of traditional a cappella African singing and musicianship with tinges of various international pop styles. The group’s varying line-ups are led, in articulate fashion, by the Belgium-based Marie Daulne (Zaire). After releasing their first two records (1991’s Zap Mama and 1994’s Sabsylma) on Belgium’s Crammed Records imprint, Zap Mama was subsequently signed to Luaka Bop by label founder David Byrne, who took a personal interest in their development. Their first two albums were overwhelmingly geared towards vocal music. Their self-titled debut, later re-released with huge success by Luaka Bop under the title Adventures In Afropea 1, featured Daulne, Célia Kankonda, Céline T Hooft, Sabine Kabongo, and Sylvie Nawasadio. The album offered an intoxicating hybrid of African and European phrasing and rhythms. Daulne, Kabongo and Nawasadio...

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