Thursday, May 26, 2016

Jackamo Fee Na Nay: Zap Mama and "Iko Iko"

Zap Mama re-imagines a New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian tune for today's random song. Zap Mama is the music act of Belgian artist Marie Daulne. Daulne sings in polyphonic and Afro-pop styles, infusing harmony with African vocal techniques, as well as throwing in some hip hop. Much of her musical inspiration comes from her roots in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where her Belgian father was killed during the Congo Crisis. Her Congolese mother and all the children were airlifted to Belgium, where she grew up in a household infused with Congolese culture but also in a society where there were few black people. Her first musical influences were African songs her mother sang, European music, especially French, and later blues, reggae and hip hop. In 1984, she returned to the Congo to learn about her heritage and trained in pygmy onomatopoetic techniques. First conceived of as an a capella quintet, Zap Mama has evolved to just Daulne's voice and instrumentation. This song, Iko Iko, can be found on Zap Mama's 1999 CD A Ma Zone.