Siti and the Band has shared a new single titled ‘Subira’ ahead of the release of the Zanzibari group’s upcoming album.
The song fuses genres like taarab, bongo flava, chakacha and zouk, and is overlaid by the vocals of bandleader Siti Amina. She is accompanied by violinist Rahma Ameyr, qanun player Gora Moh’d Gora, keyboardist Razakey, drummer Jimmy and bassist Samuel Mbaluka.
“The song is about the struggles of married female musicians,” Amina told Music In Africa. “It is critical to have a partner who understands the musician’s grind such as tight rehearsal schedules, late-night shows and weeks away from home on tour. Otherwise insecurity will kick in and the relationship will just not work.”
She added: “At the same time, the song empowers women to respect themselves and their families – taking music as a serious job with defined boundaries by taking into consideration how they dress and interact with the public.”
The track is produced by Humphrey Mboks and recorded at Wanene Studios in Dar es Salaam. It demonstrates the band’s knack for developing its sound, which has taken the modest outfit to international stages.
Amina said the band’s propensity for fusing genres continued into the writing and recording process of the upcoming album, which is scheduled for release in late 2021 or early 2022. The project is made possible through Hivos’ Resources of Open Minds production grant.
“Taarab music is still the base of all the songs, but there is diversity in genres and how the instruments are played as well as arranged,” Amina said. “Our sound has expanded to include the diverse coastal musical cultures found in Zanzibar. There is also Afropop coming into the album, bridging the gap between traditional music and what’s hot all around the world today.”
Siti and the Band 2021 European tour dates:
Watch the premiere of the video for ‘Subira’ below: