Siama's Congo Roots
Feel-good music from the Heart of Africa
For this very special Afropop Worldwide interview, Siama takes us on his musical journey - from his rural childhood in Bas Congo, to his uncanny big break when he hit the city at 17, through his world adventures and a peek into what he's up to now that he's based in MN. Abe Levine (interviewer/producer of this episode) included a tasty array of music samples from throughout Siama's career.
“When we listen to Siama's, "Land of Yangalele" we hear home, Mama Africa. This is very beautiful music everyone can enjoy.”
— Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Back in Africa, Siama Matuzungidi (see-AHH-maw) became a soukous legend, recording his intricate guitar on hundreds or songs and touring the world with popular artists. Now in Minneapolis, his catchy, upbeat songs and musicianship have earned him a McKnight Fellowship and numerous grants and a Parents' Choice Parent Approved award. He and his wife Dallas Johnson (singer/narrator) love performing special concerts and events and sharing his happy music with kids and families. In addition to singing and guitar, Siama plays traditional African instruments like Mbira (thumb piano), Lokole (tone drum) and Balafon (marimba) and he's a mean beatboxer.
“We dig it! A great addition to the family music mosaic! Outstanding rhythms and performances. ”
— Joe and Justin - The Okee Dokee Brothers