zap mama & les nubians

I have been a huge fan of these two smart, sexy bands for a while now and wanted to share.

Zap Mama is a Brussels-based band, founded and lead by the stunningly beautiful singer Marie Daulne.

Sweet Marie

Born in the Congo and raised in Belgium, Marie’s music is influenced by both continents, plus heaps of American R&B, jazz, and a bit of Latin and funk thrown into the mix as well.  That sounds like pretty much everything (save maybe classical and country), but the woman has had an interesting life.  Her 2004 album Ancestry in Progress is one of my all-time favorites. I still listen to it all the time.

Here she is singing Bandy Bandy with Erykah Badu. The video’s totally goofy, but the beats are fab!

Okay, here is another group you may want to check out—this time from Paris via Cameroon—called Les Nubians. Sisters Hélène and Célia Faussart create music with a message, inspired by their European and African backgrounds.

I saw Les Nubians perform a couple of months ago at Cambridge’s Middle East, and they were great, even though there was hardly anyone there (torrential rainstorm + their first album in 3-4 years has made them fall of the radar a bit).

Les Nubians: the Faussart sisters

For some reason, I can still remember the first time I heard Les Nubians: I was sitting in a park in Brooklyn in the springtime, watching the neighborhood geezers play bocce. I plugged into my little Radio Shack FM radio with my earphones (this was the mid-90s, people! I’m taking you back here.) ‘BLS played their track Makeda from their album, Princesses Nubiennes. I was blown away. 

Here is the Makeda video (close your eyes and enjoy):

Les Nubians’ latest disc, Nü Revolution, is a 6-track EP, and I’m really digging it. They’ve promised to release a full album soon, which is good news.

Happy listening!