Engineers: Zarma (JoBurg), Alex Beitzke (London), Tyler Harman (NYC)
Produced and Mixed by: Anthony Tidd
Production Assistant: Eugene Skeef
Project Coordinator: Heidi Quante, 350.org eARTh
Created in Collaboration with Okayafrica, Rhythm of Change (ROC)
With Big Heartfelt Thanks To: Artists Project Earth (APE), DJ Spooky, Jamie Catto, Alex Forster.
Marie Daulne, the founder and leader of Zap Mama, was born in Isiro, in the Republic of the Congo and later emigrated to Belgium. Daulne says her mission is to be a bridge between the European and the African and bring the two cultures together with her music. “What I would like to do is bring sounds from Africa and bring it to the Western world, because I know that through sound and through beats, that people discover a new culture, a new people, a new world.” Zap Mama specializes in polyphonic, harmonic music with a mixture of heavily infused African instruments, R&B, and Hip-hop and emphasizes voice in all their music. “The voice is an instrument itself,” says Daulne. “It’s the original instrument. The primary instrument. The most soulful instrument, the human voice.” She sings in French and English with deep African roots. In 2009, Zap Mama released ReCreation, which was nominated by the NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding World Music Album
Born in Benin (West Africa), Angelique Kidjo is a Grammy award-winning music recording artist deemed “Africa’s premier diva” by Time Magazine. Kidjo’s internationally acclaimed repertoire includes collaborations with various recording artists such as Carlos Santana, Peter Gabriel, Alicia Keys, Josh Groban, Branford Marsalis, Joss Stone, and many more. Known for her dynamic and uplifting music, she has translated her distinctive work in the arts to that of philanthropy; by promoting education for girls in Africa through her foundation, Batonga and as a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador Kidjo travels the world to inspire and empower.
Talib Kweli, is an American hip-hop artist and poet from Brooklyn, New York. His first name in Arabic means “student” or “seeker” (طالب); his middle name in Swahili means “true”. Kweli first gained recognition through Black Star, a collaboration with fellow MC Mos Def. Kweli has since released several critically acclaimed albums that feature his powerful socially political lyrical content.
Zolani Mahola is the lead singer of the South African band Freshly Ground. She was born in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa where she grew up near the city of Port Elizabeth. She and six other musicians formed Freshly Ground in Cape Town in 2002. She is said to be one of South Africa’s best youthful singer’s and one of the most inspirational because of the song about her mother and father’s life “Nomvula” (after the rain). Internationally, Zolani is known for the 2010 World Cup Song Waka Waka (This Time for Africa).
Ahmed Soultan is a Moroccan singer whose work fuses traditional Arab music, hip-hop, rap, raï and soul. The pseudonym “Soultan” comes from “soul”, the musical style, and “tan”. He was born in a village in the district of Souss and emigrated to France while very young. He went on to explore the African music of Morocco, recording a duet with the Senegalese singer King Bara. Ahmed has released several albums in multiple languages including Arabic, Berber and French. In 2011, the song “Jokko” (meaning the “link” in Wolof) was nominated for Best North African Song and Best African Reggae song of the year.
Jabulani Tsambo better known as Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP) or Jabba is an Award-winning South African rap artist who performs in multiple languages including isiZulu, Sesotho and Setswana. His style of music is known as Motswako, which means “mixture” in Setswana. Raised in Mmabatho, HHP’s break came in 1997 when he and his school friends met with renowned producer Chicco Twala who produced their debut Party. Since then Jabulani has released several critically acclaimed albums and used his position to highlight critical social issues including AIDS education. In 2009 he won the MTV Africa Music award for best video and in 2010 he hosted the 13-episode SABC1 talk show The Respect Show with HHP, in which he paid tribute to the people whose contribution in their respective fields have shaped South Africa’s landscape.