“ Afropop dynamism. Miriam Tamar and GNL Zamba’s singing and rapping, respectively, are a perfect mix of soulful and direct”
— David Honigmann, Financial Times
Nsimbi is a duo formed by Ugandan hip-hop pioneer GNL Zamba and American world fusion artist Miriam Tamar. Building on the acoustic sounds and indigenous instruments of Africa, Nsimbi blends contemporary elements of hip-hop and spoken word with English/Western songwriting techniques and vocals to merge the traditional with the modern. A global sound anchored in the rich messages of ancient universal East African proverbs and folklore emerges with their debut self-titled album, recently featured on KCRW's Rhythm Planet and Public Radio International’s The World, and noted by NPR’s Tiny Desk/All Songs Considered. Their dynamic collection embraces the beauty of dialogue and human connection through music and bridges cultures with lyrics in English, Swahili, Luganda and Lingala. Upon release in June 2018, Nsimbi quickly charted on iTunes World Music top 5 in the US, Canada and Uganda. Nsimbi creates a vibrant interactive live experience that invites us to celebrate around the communal fire, and was an official artist at the SXSW 2019 Music Festival including showcasing for Afropop Worldwide. Sonically and visually dynamic, and at the same time rich in cultural content, Nsimbi has also been welcomed into prominent arts spaces including the Fowler Museum UCLA and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.
The duo met five years ago in Uganda, and have collaborated in Africa and in the United States. Nsimbi is their first album together and includes contributions by East African musicians they long admired, Kinobe and Jaja Bashengezi. Bound by the kindred world travelers who embrace the beauty of dialogue and human connection through music, each artist’s background shapes the sound of the album.
GNL Zamba is among East Africa’s most influential hip-hop artists, credited with bringing rap to the region's mainstream culture by using Uganda’s indigenous language in a style known as Lugaflow. Nominated for over 30 African music awards, winning 12, GNL has performed throughout the world, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, We Love Africa Music Festival in Denmark, Selam Africa Music Festival in Ethiopia, and Sauti Za Busara Festival in Zanzibar.
Fusion vocalist and songwriter Miriam Tamar creates empowering soundscapes that journey through the vibrant rhythms of world culture. Her mix of genres reflects global travels and the communities she’s lived within, including five years spent in Uganda developing peace education curriculum to rebuild the lives of post-conflict children. Profoundly transformed and determined to remind people of the beauty beyond borders, Miriam’s most recent Firedance EP debuted in the Top 5 iTunes World Music Chart and has been featured on Huffington Post as the video for her single, “Who We,” has over 500,000 views.
As passionate global citizens, Nsimbi offer workshops tied to the themes of cross-cultural exchange, appreciation, and dialogue explored in their album.
“Nsimbi realizes...how worlds, traditions, and languages don't have to carelessly collide. Instead, they can come together in interhemispheric harmony.”