Zanzibar’s music history has been determined by female voices – from Siti Binti Saad to Bi Kidude, they have always been a trajectory for female emancipation and empowerment over the past decades. Translating the traditional music into the modern times, Siti & The Band beautifully crafts the sounds of the new generation. In “Subira” it molds into unique Afro-Arab grooves, led by powerful vocals, the sparkling sounds of the Qanun and sweet responses by the Violin. The message calls for our patience – in relationships, personal life, or, as depicted in the video – towards the successful African female fighting for support from her husband. Siti Amina is the lead singer of the band and a role model for many young African women, who are growing up under patriarchic rule and fight for a self-determined life. The visuals for the classy piece depict exactly that – a strong women in colourful dresses and beautiful locations while her husband is being put in the secondary role – struggling to understand and acknowledge the efforts and success in her career.
After touring from East to West and from North to South with their first album “Fusing the Roots”. Siti & The Band utilised the pandemic to get back into the studio and record their second album. Thanks to the support of HIVOS and their Ressources Of Open Minds (ROOM) program supporting critical content production, Siti & The Band where able to record and produce the album and accompanying visuals. The stories and experiences from the Felabration Festival in Nigeria, Visa for Music in Morocco, Capital Nights in Sudan, IOMMA in La Reunion, ACCES in Nairobi and many other places are alive and keep on influencing their musical journey and creative delivery. “Subira” is the first single of this album, dropping on the 28th of May 2021.
The new sounds from Zanzibar are as fresh as they could be, be it the sparkling Qanun, the vibrant violin or the powerful and bright voice of Siti Amina, let yourself be taken away into a journey to the magical Island!