Infusing deep house with Tanzanian straightforward beats, Uncommon interprets some serious topics through a smooth new style targeted at the future generation. The new EP features Alex Lobulu and Nemaa Koshuma blending the old with the new.
After visiting Joburg in 2021, our team discussed the creation of music that would attract music listeners under 30. Inspired by Amapiano subgenre of South Africa, we focused on slow-paced dance beat and lounge vibe, inclusive of mixed-language lyrics. Rather than dominating with sonic textures, like Amapiano, we wanted Tanzanian short beats and vocals to dispense the sheer bliss of making music and moving freely between collaborations in this Uncommon Maasai deep house EP.
Focused on creating something novel while embodying the roving spirit of the Maasai, the EP targets a fusion of optimistic sounds and mellow transitions to express ingenuity of time-honored Maasai culture.
The lyrical storytelling delves into serious topics of cultural preservation, poverty, and inspires examination of traditional and modern lives with specific appeal to the “next generation” or the youth of this East African region.
Uncommon strives to depict that special something of this unique culture where beauty, value and wealth are determined by their own devotion to traditions and not the standards or expectations of the world around them.
Encompassing the rarity and inimitable characteristics of Maasai people, we felt a completely fresh sound was the best musical arrangement option, living somewhere in a space between underground and mainstream and tradition and truth. Vocals by Nemaa Koshuma and Alex Lobulu infuse a mix of Maa and English lyrics as a deliberate call out to our worldwide listeners and the goals of VOM label, connecting a global audience with emerging East African talent to provide authentic and nuanced perspectives of the Savannah's of East Africa.
Song 1: Where is Our Culture, more important than what genre of music – are the questions, sweeping change and forced adaptations of Maasai communities. Expressed through soft percussion, electronic versatility, and tenor vocal range, the synthesized variations bring this composition far beyond conventional musical instruments, making it an impressive encapsulation of current cultural context, artistic talent, and collaboration.
Song 2: Together (Pamoja) a light easy sound intended to get people together on the dance floor and in life. A shifting paradigm weaves its way through an electronic mixture of sounds and kaleidoscopic medley of beats and synth.
Song 3: Eliminate Poverty opens with distinctive flair in this jazz/funk composition with songwriting style that incorporates genuine lyrics and unadulterated viewpoint.
Alex Lobulu - Producer/Songwriter/Composer/Vocalist
Nemaa Koshuma - Vocalist
Jessey Jansen - Album Art
Inspiration Behind the Album Art
Album art incorporates a concentric pattern inspired by the intricate beadwork of the Maasai. Beadwork embodies the whole of Maasai culture representing beauty, strength, tradition, warriorhood, marriage, and the deep love and devotion to their cattle. The geometric design focuses ones attention on the spiritual or deeper meanings, incorporating specific colors to represent different aspects of Maasai culture: Black: Unity, harmony and solidarity Orange, people, generosity, friendship Green: land. territory, roots Blue: water, sustenance, sky Yellow: sun, fertility, grow Red: bravery, strength, unity
Circular elements weave their way into my designs as they are central in Maasai culture; from body marks to migration patterns in nature, to aerial views of the vast countryside dotted with circular bomas, you sense connectivity all around.
We want to educate hearts not only minds. ~ Jessey Jansen
Collect limited edition album art and become part of our Inner Circle. The format is inspired by the nostalgic 12" vinyl record covers, paying homage to keeping the music (the story) alive. Signed artwork made from nine vibrant layers of cut paper by Founder, Jessey Jansen.
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