Nurturing young artistes has never been an easy task and yet this is exactly what Community studio in Zanzibar has dedicated itself to.
The studio which was formed some five years ago aims at grooming Zanzibari’s music with the ultimate goal of taking Zanzibar’s music to the World.
The studio brings together young talent around Zanzibar and the greatest beneficiaries have so far been Siti & the Band who have since become a band to look out for on the Spice Islands
Last year the band achieved a major milestone after they were invited to the Felabration Festival in Nigeria, a festival that celebrates the life and works Fela Kuti, playing for over 7 days.
Speaking to The Beat, Lorenz Herrmann, who is Siti & The Band’s manager says, the Felabration festival enriched their profile to a Pan-African level and helped them increase the value of the band as well as gaining more local and international respect.
Currently the Band is shooting a Fire & Gold video in Kendwa Rocks with a Multi-award winning, gold selling, Afrosoul singer, songwriter and guitarist Berita.
He says, the tour to Doa Doa Music Market last year in Uganda came along with positive results including Berita being among others.
“We were looking for connections to venture into South Africa. We loved Berita’s music and we decided to collaborate with her. The Band and Berita had a showcase of their song which they recorded together in Uganda last year,” says Herrmann.
He says that through the collaboration they can plug into the Souith Africa market easier and vice Versa for Berita .
“It also gives the musicians great exposure and a creative connection which is of great value when developing a bands career as wel as exposing our music to different African countries,” he adds
The video preparations took Berita and her Zanzibar hosts about a week to prepare and the special showcase of Fire & Gold.
However, music needs constant preparations so we are on a regular rehearsal schedule.
Commenting on Band’s plan for this year he says, The Band is expanding its exposure by playing the biggest music market in the Indian Ocean called Indian Ocean music market (IOMMA) which takes place in Reunion.
“We are also promoting our music more and more back home in TZ and ZNZ. Will he going on a South African tour to release fire & gold and will also be working on our new album as well as more music videos.”
Berita’s musical journey began in 2012 after leaving New Zealand to study in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Equipped with just a guitar and her dreams, within no time Berita went from performing at community events around the Eastern Cape to releasing a stellar debut album.
“My music is classified afrosoul, it’s a soulful version of afro pop music. I currently have a single out called Ndicel’ikiss which translated to English means ‘may I please have a kiss’. I’m currently working on Nile kiss a Swahilli version of the song, so I can introduce my music to East Africa,” she says.
She has since collaborated with Yvonne Chaka Chaka, world renowned Oliver Mtukudzi, and the late Grammy award winning flugelhorn player and composer Hugh Masekela, South African house DJ icon Oskido, Coke Studio Season 2 and Black Motion.
In June 2017 Berita released her critically acclaimed 3rd album which has been making waves with chart topping features ‘Ezizweni’ featuring Mobi Dixon and currently ‘Found you’ featuring Da Capo.
She says that her collaboration with Siti & The Band is about the exchange of cultures and perspectives between African artiste, which she believes will allow her to grow by touching a new audience in Tanzania.
“South Africa has very diverse music scene, as South Africa is really wide and diverse as a country I suppose. Tanzania seems to be a market dominated by a few genres like Bongo Flava and hip hop.”
She says with the current project has allowed her to learnt about Zanzibar’s history and culture as well as the history of Tarab music.