We had the good fortune of connecting with Nsimbi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nsimbi, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
It makes us feel alive !!! As a duo (Nsimbi), a creative career spells freedom for us! That expression and unlimited space to wear what you like, say what you feel plus celebrating culture, travel, and connecting with people from all over the world is amazing! Music has always been our friend, We believe in art that moves communities and that which moves oneself into introspection.
We use ancient wisdom to inform the present so we can affect the future Inspiring a more harmonious human family!
Zamba comes from a long line of storytellers in Uganda who archive history in songs, I’m a Jewish woman whose music is also tied to my identity. so for us, it is a blend of purpose, duty, fun, and therapy!
Whenever we are on stage, seeing how our music moves people is a very rewarding experience. We Can’t wait to have those moments again.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Nsimbi is a duo made up of a Ugandan Hip-hop artist Zamba and a Jewish American Vocalist Miriam Tamar. between the two of us, we have a good amount of experience creating and performing – but with art, there are always ups and downs! In Uganda, we both had established strong brands and followings as solo artists. Here in the US, we had to start over and relearn, with Nsimbi, which was a new brand as well! This was a choice we made in order to be able to expand our skills and artistry to a more international level.
Getting access to each part of the LA industry, such as marketing, sync, bookings, etc., requires relationships. Being new to LA, this means months of attending networking events, coffee dates, endless emails, conferences, and so on, knowing that maybe 10% of that effort would yield the results we were looking for. In a competitive music industry city like LA, it’s tough to push your way in, and when you’re making world fusion and African hip-hop music, the opportunities feel very limited. We had to do a lot of learning and then unlearning to find a way to make the system useful for us.
Ultimately, we figured out that our purpose in LA was to create a platform for the community and artists like us to celebrate cross-cultural arts. There are many platforms celebrating culture but we felt the flavourful art of East Africa was under-represented. So we started setting up our own events such as the Swahili Nation multimedia art party. Besides getting our national and international bookings, we are finding tribes of people eager to be a part of these Swahili Nation events locally and in other states, which is basically a celebration of life with people that embrace the ancient and modern, and a story of the homage of the Swahili coast where races and culture have been mixing and coexisting for centuries and continue to mix. It’s like bringing the art of the Indian Ocean and East Africa to the world. When safety permits, we plan to continue expanding from LA to other cities wherever we find our tribe and will hit the stage again to perform, learn and entertain diverse audiences along with artisans, decorators, filmmakers, and a collective of very talented musicians.
Look out for Nsimbi on the web join our online community www.nsimbimusic.com
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The Broad Museum
Griffith Park hike and pass by the observatory
The Comedy Store (Everybody loves humour)
Korean Barbecue at Hae Jang Chon
A concert on the Santa Monica pier or Leimert park in Inglewood
Day trip to Monterey park to eat and get Chinese massages at Atlantic beauty & Foot Spa
Party at Los Globos for the African Night
Walk around lil tokyo and check out Jazz at the blue whale
Buy tickets for a show at Hollywood ball or staple centre
Check out Graffiti in the arts district
we would checkout lacma museum and take pictures at the Lanterns
If it is in the summer we would go to Levit or Grand performances
We would also hit Venice beach for a drum circle
A trip to Joshua tree!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Where do we start, We would like to thank Enclave LA, it is a platform that shines a light on indigenous culture in Los Angeles. Tom the CEO allowed us to tap into his network, helped advertise our Swahili Nation events & Our album release parties.
Our collaborations with the Dansekou dance company led by Daunte always adds color to our performances and the stage experience is always elevated. Our music and their bodies contort and harmonize together to tell a cross-cultural story.
Muyinza kasirye Gats Photography