'This cuts across society': how singeli music went from Tanzania to the world
With up to 300 beats per minute, singeli could be the world’s most frenetic music. In Dar es Salaam, its creators explain how it helps to create a better life
On a neon-lit jetty overlooking the River Nile, a young Tanzanian DJ called Sisso is playing a bracing barrage of blips, bells and breakneck beats that could blast apart a heart-rate monitor. We are at Nyege Nyege, a pan-African festival in Uganda that curates contemporary club music from across the continent, and it’s the first time so many musicians from Tanzania have made it here. Sisso and his peers have taken a 30-hour bus journey and crossed two borders in order to play at the event. Their sets are being streamed live to the world via Boiler Room.
The music these Swahili speed freaks make is a street-level sound known as singeli. It has been ricocheting around the ghettos circling the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam for almost 15 years, with unbridled synth lines, percussion pitch-shifted up to alien frequencies and super-speed lyrical flows.Continue reading...