Oslo, Norway (PressExposure) October 03, 2007 -- With the emergence of Tanzanian musician, Ras Nas aka Nasibu Mwanukuzi ([http://www.rasnas.kongoi.com]), on the East African music scene, there is no doubt that the regionâs musical terrain will never be the same. His long awaited CD âDar-Es-Salaamâ due to be released on 3rd November this year, is a follow-up to the debut âCut You Looseâ. The new CD reflects a remarkable and qualitative change in Ras Nasâ music. While âCut You Looseâ was mostly experimental, with âDar-Es-Salaamâ, Ras Nas appears to reach maturity and achieve a distinct identity both as studio and concert artist.
With his mix of reggae, soukous and dub poetry, Ras Nas stands out as a pioneer of a new music style; a style which is yet to be defined. His lyrics are both conscious and entertaining. Ras Nas writes, recites and sings in English and Swahili, the latter being the lingua franca of Africa. In other words, as an artist of sheer originality, he is laying down footsteps for others to follow. This is fresh and welcome news from a region that has hardly produced an artist of international caliber for the past two decades.
The nine tracks in Dar-Es-Salaam CD are all unique as well as potential hits. The title track âDar-Es-Salaamâ is a song that starts with a cool rhumba ballad and shifts to a hot and irresistible seben. It is a revisit to the classic sounds of East and Central Africa but wrapped in the contemporary feel and tempo. On the dance floor the song has proven to be captivating both to the old and the young. The song is a tribute to the city of Dar-Es-Salaam and its mesmerizing beauty. It is in this city that Ras Nas molded his interest in music and poetry in a young age. Other songs include Guantanamo, Zakina, Revelation Times, Dance Rhumba, Aisha, Sina Makosa (a faster version of the mighty Simba wa Nyika), Sweet Rhythms and River Nile (reggae dub poetry).
Reviewing Ras Nasâ live radio concert, spring 2007, veteran music journalist with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, NRK, Arne Berg, put it in this way; âIt was a memorable experience. From heavy dub poetry to exhilarating soukous â rarely has the public in Studio 19 shaken their bodies so thoroughly and seldom have we experienced such a sweaty, happy and smiling audience going home after a show!â
In Dar-Es-Salaam CD, Ras Nas has worked with a number of highly talented artists from nine different countries, a total of 24 of them, among them two renowned artists from Dar-Es-Salaam, bassist Keppy Kiombile and guitarist Norman Bikaka (lead guitar).
Ras Nasâ debut concert was in 1992 in Oslo at the celebration to mark the 99th Anniversary of His Imperial Majesty Selassie I. In the Zodiac sign, this was an event in itself. Since then, Ras Nas has performed for Nelson Mandela, shared the stage with Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Lou Reed at the Norwegian Wood Festival and played in a number of festivals.
All in all, 2007 finds Ras Nas in a high gear. In spring, Ras Nas was Artist of the Week at the Norwegian state radio after spending most of autumn/winter in studio, working on âDar-Es-Salaamâ. In August, Ras Nas played at Oslo Mela Festival and in November he is one of the artists at this yearâs Oslo World Music Festival.
CD: Dar-Es-Salaam Label: Kongoi Productions Release: 3rd November