Nsimbi album is a world fusion album written and performed by the duo made up of international Ugandan hip hop MC GNL Zamba and gifted American worldbeat artist Miriam Tamar. The album debuted on the USA iTunes World Music Chart at #6, the Canada iTunes World Music Chart at #3, and the Uganda iTunes Chart at #3. Nsimbi has so far been featured in prominent international press outlets such as PopMatters, Vents Magazine, Financial Times and KCRW radio Los Angeles and continues to gain momentum on USA media and radio rotation.
Nsimbi is now available worldwide on all online platforms (iTunes Store, Apple Music, Tidal, Spotify, Amazon) and also available for purchase through the SulaPay app using Mobile Money in Uganda.
GNL Zamba: vocals, backup vocals, composer
Miriam Tamar: vocals, backup vocals, composer
Jaja Bashengezi: udu, guitar, electric guitar, bass, harmonica, mbunda, shakers, binyege, likembe, ngoni, wood block, backup vocals, composer
Herbert Kinobe: talking drum, kora, adungu, ndongo, balafon, calabash, akogo, backup vocals, composer
Produced & Engineered by Jaja Bashengezi & Herbert Kinobe, Rafiki Productions, Maryland
Mixed by Tim Latham, New York
Mastered by Mark Christensen, Engine Room Audio, NYC
Photography by Jabari Jacobs
Art Direction and Design by Chris Katende, Toronto
Executive Produced by Miriam Tamar & Ernest Nsimbi
Released by Imara Records/Baboon Forest
- Dunia Ni Matembezi
- Leo Ni Leo
- Acholi Boy
- Gonna Be Alright
- Flower of the Heart
- Sokota ft Jaja Bashengezi
OFFICIAL ARTIST STATEMENT ABOUT THE ALBUM:
Echoing positive messages from the past to the present, so we can advise the future, we hope that Nsimbi shows the possibility of living in harmony once we do away with our differences and focus on what makes us all human. Collaboration was essential to this project. Our wonderful creative partners, mulit-insturmentalists Jaja Bashengezi and Kinobe Herbert, played all 18 instruments on the album with fiery finesse and heart. Nsimbi is written in Swahili, Luganda, English and Lingala.
This project is filled with so much love and intention, and we genuinely hope it brings our listeners joy and a sense of journey through East African culture and human connection. The album is a collection of songs and poems guided by our experiences combined with ancient Swahili and Buganda wisdom that we discovered in proverbs and folklore. This wisdom is so relevant in today’s divided times. We’re thrilled the Financial Times reviewed our album as “Afropop dynamism. Miriam Tamar and GNL Zamba’s singing and rapping, respectively, are a perfect mix of soulful and direct.”
Nsimbi is the Luganda word for a cowry shell, but is a symbol of all indigenous communities as it is found on all continents. It denotes abundance in spirit and wealth, and it resembles the life-giving organ of the earth symbolizing continuity.
ABOUT NSIMBI THE DUO:
Nsimbi is a duo formed by Ugandan hip-hop artist GNL Zamba and American world fusion artist Miriam Tamar. Building on the acoustic sounds and indigenous instruments of Africa, Nsimbi blends contemporary elements of hip-hop and spoken word with English/Western songwriting techniques and vocals to merge the traditional with the modern. A global sound anchored in the rich messages of ancient East African proverbs and folklore emerges with their debut self-titled album, scheduled for release in summer 2018. The collection bridges cultures with lyrics in English, Swahili, Luganda and Lingala.
The duo met six years ago in Uganda, and have collaborated in Africa and in the United States. Nsimbi is their first album together and includes contributions by East African musicians they long admired, Kinobe and Jaja Bashengezi. Bound by the kindred world travelers who embrace the beauty of dialogue and human connection through music, each artist’s background shapes the sound of the album.
GNL Zamba is among East Africa’s most influential hip-hop artists, credited with bringing rap to the region’s mainstream culture by using Uganda’s indigenous language in a style known as Lugaflow. Nominated for over 30 African music awards, winning 12, GNL has performed throughout the world, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, We Love Africa Music Festival in Denmark, Selam Africa Music Festival in Ethiopia, and Sauti Za Busara Festival in Zanzibar.
Fusion vocalist and songwriter Miriam Tamar creates empowering soundscapes that journey through the vibrant rhythms of world culture. Her mix of genres reflects global travels and the communities she’s lived within, including five years spent in Uganda developing peace education curriculum to rebuild the lives of post-conflict children. Profoundly transformed and determined to remind people of the beauty beyond borders, Miriam’s most recent Firedance EP debuted in the Top 5 of the iTunes World Music Chart and has been featured on Huffington Post as the video for her single, “Who We,” has over 500,000 views.
As passionate global citizens, Nsimbi is developing an educational curriculum tied to the themes of cross-cultural exchange, appreciation, and dialogue explored in their album. Workshops will be part of their album world tour.