SWAHILI VIBES, RAS INNOCENT NGANYAGWA, SAUTI SOL, MZUNGU KICHAA, AMBWENE YESAYA, GRACE MATATA AND HABIB KOITE FOR THE ZANZIBAR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 18TH-26TH JUNE 2014

Swahili Vibes is the Band of Young Talented Musicians from Zanzibar which is the main Head Quarter of the band. Early 2009 saw the birth of a new and exciting group formed by eight of the most talented students of Zanzibar's Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA). Despite their tender age, all are creative and talented musicians; they write and compose their own Swahili Vibes is the Band of Young Talented Musicians from Zanzibar which is the main Head Quarter of the band All Musicians in this band are the students of Dhow Countries Music Academy Zanzibar.
 Ras Inno's real name is Innocent Nganyagwa. He is originally from Dar, but has also lived in Iringa in Southern Tanzania and Tanga in Northeastern Tanzania. Already in 1982 when he was 17 years old he heard of Bob Marley and started to listen to reggae. In 1989-90 he turned to music seriously, learnt the guitar and started to compose music and write texts. He is now playing bass guitar and sings. He has no band, but team up with session musicians for live gigs and recording sessions.

He performs live 8-12 times in a year. It is expensive to rent instruments, pay for marketing and promotion etc. He also shares the difficulties to market recordings with other musicians in Tanzania:
After I finished recording the studio gives me the master tape. It's up to me to look for anyone who can buy my songs and serve them to the people who want to buy them. We have no special system of serving and buying records from artists. That's we may have a very good song, maybe very popular through media, people see you always on TV, hear you always on radio, there is so much written in the newspapers, but you are just another guy like all other guys. One of the musicians. That's our basic problem.


Ras Inno has made a few songs in Swahili, but usually they are in English. About his musical style he says:
It sounds different from Jamaican reggae and European reggae, even different from South African kind of reggae. If you listen to my songs they have something Tanzanian in them. They are songs that can make anyone listen.


When asked what it means to be a rasta in Tanzania he says:
In Tanzania you may find many different explanations. A lot of misunderstanding. They think it's just smoking ganja. You even find different groups of rastas. These can't cope with these etc. Because those don't believe in what these are believing in and these don't believe what those are believing in. There are some rules that applies to the way you live.
Like a lot of rastas here think when you are a rastafarian you don't have to be smart. I don't believe in that. Have you tried to move around in town? You find different kinds of rastas. When you're smart you're not rasta to them. When I say smart, I mean not walking smoking ganja in public, if I meat a policeman I don't care. I'm a rasta man, I'm allowed to smoke. Some takes it that way. When it comes to music some say if you sing some subject in music that maybe is going contrary to rasta beliefs you're not rasta to them.
I sing a lot about children. I say it's a lot of street children because of unplanned parenthood. Some people say "No, you're not rasta. You're talking to us about planning parenthood." That's something not rasta. But I know it's a lot of street children because of that thing and I sing. Should you be a reggae musician for the rasta or a reggae musician for the whole society?
If you talk to Jah Kimbute or some other he would tell you his views in a different way. I want more people to be rasta and one way to do this is to make them close to me by singing about their day to day life, day to day problems. My main problems are the problems facing all Tanzanians in their day to day living. We have a lot of hardships, economical and so on. I cannot say because I'm a rasta I'm allowed to do this, because then everybody is allowed to do anything.

Sauti Sol is a Kenyan Afro-pop band from Nairobi comprising members; Bien Aime Baraza (vocals & guitar), Polycarp Otieno (guitar),Willis Austin Chimano (vocals, saxophone & keytar) and Delvin Mudigi (vocals, percussion & drums) formed in 2005. Starting off as an a-Capella group, Bien, Chimano and Delvin previously met in Upper Hill high school where they performed in Voices in the Light, a high school music group. After that stint, the trio met guitarist Polycarp at Alliance Française, where they would frequent and decided to form Sauti (Swahili for voice) and immediately wrote their first song, Mafunzo ya Dunia (Life Lessons) that would later feature in their first album,Mwanzo, which is Swahili for "beginning”, which was released in August, 2009.
Their second album, Sol Filosofia, was released in February, 2011. The band has had successful tours in Europe as well as in Africa, topped Kenyan charts and gained international attention with shows in Europe and the US, as well as television appearances, various nominations, including their 2011 celebrated concert performance in Kenya with Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Internationally renowned South African a cappella group). In June 2012, Sauti Sol released ‘Sauti Sol’, a self-titled EP and collaborative effort with South African avant-garde innovative rapper/producer Spoek Mathambo.On 29th April 2014 the band released "Nishike" which caused a lot of uproar on the media due to its steamy content and this led to the song not being played on most local TV stations
Habib Koité  is a solo singer, songwriter and guitarist, based in Mali. His band,Bamada, is a supergroup of West African musicians, including Kélétigui Diabaté playing balafon. Koité is known primarily for his unique approach to playing the guitar by tuning it on a pentatonic scale and playing on open strings as one would on a kamale n'goni. Other pieces of his music sound more like the blues or flamencowhich are two styles he learned under Khalilou Traore.
Koité's vocal style is intimate and relaxed, emphasizing calm, moody singing rather than operatic technical prowess. Members of Bamada play talking drum, guitar, bass, drum set, harmonica, violin, calabash, and balafon. Koité composes and arranges all songs, singing in English, French, and Bambara.
 Grace Matata is one of Tanzanian artist. She does her work and lives in Dar Es Salaam.She attended Tambaza High School and studied basic tax management at IFM-Institute of Finance Management, her first single was 'Wimbo'. Other songs include Si Rahisi, Nyakati and Free soul.
Mzungu Kichaa aka Espen Sørensen is a Danish singer and musician. He was born in Denmark, but grew up in Tanzania, where his parents worked in the field of Development Cooperation. They went there when he was six years old. In Tanzania he learned to speak Swahili fluently and later on he got involved in music and particularly in the production of Bongo Flava at Bongo Records. The latest outcome of his interest in East African music is his first solo album "Tuko Pamoja".In the late 1990s Espen Sørensen was among the first artists that started recording at Bongo Records in Dar Es Salaam, among them Juma Nature, TID, Mangwair,Ferooz and Professor Jay. During that time it was also, when he got his artist's name Mzungu Kichaa, what can be translated by "Crazy white man".He didn't appear among the upcoming artists in Tanzania at that time, but did some choruses on several songs around 2001. Later on he went to the UK to do his undergraduate studies in Music and Cultural Anthropology. After finishing his MA in African Studies he stepped back to his music career, founding a group called Effigong in 2006. In 2008 he decided to continue as a solo artist and sucdeeded to release his first record in 2009 on the independent label Caravan Records. The album was first released in East Africa, but after getting airplay on several European radio stations it was also released in Europe in May 2009. The songs of the album, like "Jitolee" (feat. Professor Jay) or "Wajanja" are all in Swahili, the language mainly used in East African Bongo Flava. The lyrics of the songs focus on social problems in Tanzania, like poverty. Sørensen did a three-weeks promotion tour for his album in February 2009, mainly in Tanzania and Kenya, but he also performed in Denmark with the backing group ReCulture.The single Jitolee has been a hit in Tanzania and Kenya
Ambwene Allen Yessayah, better known by his stage name as A.Y., is a Tanzanian bongo flava artist. He was born on July 5, 1981 in Mtwara, Southern part of Tanzania. He began his career with the group S.O.G. in 1996. He decided to go solo in 2002. AY is among the first bongo flava artists to commercialize hip hop. He was member of the musical group known as East Coast Army, but now he's no longer part of the group. He is still releasing songs and albums collaborating most with an ex-coast artist MwanaFA.

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