“Siti Amina,” now takes the helm as the charismatic lead singer and oud player of Siti and the Band, one of Zanzibar’s fastest rising musical outfits. Their debut album, Fusing the Roots, was released to rave reviews; on it, Amina and her band offer surprising twists on Zanzibari folk sounds, drawing from deep cultural roots to inform their music and its message.
Siti Amina and her band intentionally channel the spirit of Taarab legend Siti binti Saad, a Zanzibari woman who rose to international fame as the first woman from East Africa to record her music, producing more than 100 records in her lifetime. A chance meeting with a member of Nadi Ikhwani Safa, Zanzibar’s all-male Taarab ensemble, led her down a rare musical path as a singer in a world dominated by men. Discarding her birth name for the more honorable “Siti,” she defied social norms by performing veiled for royal crowds, boldly protesting class oppression and domestic violence through her music.