What this blog is now mostly about... and some great new music coming feat. Mario Swagga & DJ Sillila

Mario Swagga & DJ Silila in the streets of Dar es Salaam

The future of this blog is mainly concerned about the activity on my label PG Sounds. but it will also include other projects, that I will be involved in..

Right now its one of the most, let's say - musically a wild-ride...
When my old friend Dave Kerr introduced me to the musical genre Singeli the music spoke to me. I have never heard such energy, such a wild and restless rhythm as is captured in this ep. It reminded me of the impact electronic music had on me back in the 90s, but with total new and unknown energy.
Dave presented a completely new music world to me; the street sounds of Dar es Salaam and introduced me to the musical souls of Mario and Silila.
Dave is an anthropologist based at the University of Johannesburg and has been doing research on popular music in Tanzania for many years. We’ve known each other from way back in the 90's where we both organized underground club nights in Copenhagen. Since then we have kept in contact and so working again together pushin´ the boundaries of music from the underground comes natural to us...And here we are now with Mario Swagga and DJ Silila.

Cover for Mapenzi Digital

What's the deal you may ask. Well…

Combining an Afro-Punk do it yourself attitude, the energy and vibrancy of their driving drums with lyrics which speak to both the fun and complexity of young people’s lives in Dar es Salaam Mario Swagga and DJ Silila have created a truly distinctive and original sound.
Coming from the informal settlements of Kiwalani, Dar es Salaam Mario Swagga and DJ Silila’s music captures the restless energy and hustle of young peoples lived in this fast-growing metropolis. This is music to get you moving, as Mario sings in Party La Uhakika (Epic Party)

Party as hard as you can, party with the vibe, this is an epic party”.

Mario Swagga & DJ Silila 
Singeli is a new electronic music genre which originates at street parties called vigodoro held in Dar es Salaam’s informal settlement. Created using the computer program Virtual DJ, Singeli is made when DJ’s cut, looped and sped up sections of older Tanzanian recordings, generating their own unique sonic landscape. This soundtrack typically evolves over an hour of live performance as singers’ freestyle lyrics over the top of Singeli’s animated beats. Through their use of samples from Tanzania’s musical past Singeli’s producers creates an Afro-futurist sound. Fusing the unique melodies of Taarab, with the energetic drums of Mnanda and the singular sound of the Mario Swagga’s lyrical style this EP combines an electronic aesthetic with the ‘traditional’ sounds of Tanzania. The frantic sound of Singeli is perhaps closest to early jungle but has a uniquely African aesthetic.

Recording their songs in their studio, which also doubles as DJ Silila’s one room living space Mario and DJ Silila perform at Vigodoro across the city. Mario Swagga started performing at street parties across Dar es Salaam in 2009. He was named Mario by crowds he performed to because on stage he possessed some of the same confidence, attitude and swagger as the footballer Mario Balloteli. As his reputation grew Mario began to perform at events organized by Clouds FM and in 2016 was crowned the number one Singeli singer in Dar es Salaam at Fiesta Singeri Michano. Mario’s name has gone on to spread across the city and is now ready to travel even further afield.