“ 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 Ugandan - American international award-winning 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 "Lugaflow" hip-hop and spoken word with English/Western songwriting and vocals to merge the traditional with the modern. A global sound anchored in the rich universal messages of ancient East African proverbs and folklore emerged in 2018 with their debut self-titled album, 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 style embraces the beauty of dialogue and human connection through music and bridges cultures with lyrics in English, Swahili, Luganda and Lingala. Upon release, Nsimbi quickly charted on iTunes World Music top 5 in the US, Canada and Uganda. Within one year, the album received 2 international awards and 10 nominations.
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 Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and the Fowler Museum UCLA. “Leo Ni Leo” took home the 2019 Independent Music Award for World Beat with a live performance by Nsimbi also at the awards ceremony.
As lockdown loomed and the duo could no longer be so mobile, Nsimbi shifted back into creation gear, first releasing a single “Searching” in August 2020 which was also GNL Zamba’s directorial debut. “Searching” talks about the basic human need for love and connection which became even more apparent as we spent time isolated. This worldbeat song carries the spirit of searching for connection, offering a hopeful feeling for anyone needing some music therapy.
November 19th, 2021 brought their next release, Infinity, a 5 track EP that reveals how, when we love each other, our love transcends time and we become infinite as love is infinite. The first single “Mbaga” was released September 14th and tells the story of two people from different planets falling in love, merging two worlds which combines Baganda folklore storytelling and Jewish niggun vocals merging on a bed of Zanzibari inspired East African rhythms. Infinity is a celebration of Ugandan / East African consciousness. The sounds are recorded, mixed & mastered in East Africa, the birth place of humanity!
The duo met in Uganda in 2012, and have collaborated in Africa and in the United States since. As passionate global citizens, Nsimbi create multi-media content and offer workshops tied to the themes of cross-cultural exchange, appreciation, and dialogue explored in their music.
Independent Music Awards 2019 Winner for Best Song - World Beat
Independent Music Awards 2019 Nominee for Best Song - Spoken Word
Independent Music Awards 2019 Nominee for Best Debut Album
Independent Music Awards 2019 Nominee for Best Music Video
256 Hip Hop Awards 2019 Winner for African Rapper of the Year
256 Hip Hop Awards 2019 Nominee for Album of the Year
256 Hip Hop Awards 2019 Nominee for Hustler of the Year
256 Hip Hop Awards 2019 Nominee for Video of the Year
256 Hip Hop Awards 2019 Nominee for Impact Track of the Year
256 Hip Hop Awards 2019 Nominee for Collaboration of the Year
UK Shiny Awards 2019 Nominee for Music Video
Abryanz Style & Fashion Awards 2018 Nominee for Most Fashionable Video of the Year
“Nsimbi realizes...how worlds, traditions, and languages don't have to carelessly collide. Instead, they can come together in interhemispheric harmony.”