Singer Bamba Al Mansour was born in Amsterdam, raised in Suriname and spent his teenage years in New York. After the city that never sleeps, he moved to Los Angeles and then back to Amsterdam from where his journey to Africa began...

Bamba has been a regular on the decks at our events and we caught up with him recently following the release of his first single as a recording artist “We The People” – He told us about the message behind the song and shared some other insights into the man behind the music…

 

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You’ve been in the music business for a while, but have worked as a music manager and DJ until now – what inspired you make the change to become a musician?
I’ve been in music my whole life to some extent. If I wasn’t producing, I was working as a DJ or coordinating and organizing events. After supporting and promoting other people’s music and careers, I felt like the time had come for me to step to the plate and make my musical offering.

 

What do you want to achieve with your music and what is the message behind your first single?
The motivation behind my first single “We The People” is to fill a huge void in music. The kind that reflects the turbulent times we are living in. Times that force us to, both individually and collectively, take a stand on who we are, where we choose to be and how we’re going to react or interact with our surroundings. I wanted to write a song and create a visual for it, that would counterbalance the negative reports and images we are confronted with on a daily basis. I wanted to reinstill a sense of pride, honor, and confirmation in who we are.

A song that reconstitutes a sense of pride, honor, and grace.

A new black international anthem.

The soundtrack to our revolution.

Where did the idea for the music video come from and who did you work with to realize it?
For the visual for “We The People” we wanted to create a framework in which both young and old would be represented. To feel a sense of unity from it, to leave a positive impression on the viewer.
The video was a collective effort by video director Bouba Dola, Oumar M’bengue Atakosso and myself. We create together as a multi-disciplinary art collective called Circle The Squares.

 

Which artist, dead or alive would you like to share a stage/recording studio with and why?
Even though El hajj Malik Shabbaz aka Malcolm X wouldn’t be considered an artist to the most, I however do. The way in which Malcolm delivered his message sounds like music to my ears and I listen to it as such. Bob Marley as he laid the blueprint for consciousness embedded music. He showed us how to sing for the benefit of the people and honor the creator always. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, these brothers from Chicago bring it, rejuvenate the majestic warrior within. Powerful music, that comes from a long family tradition of musicianship as their father played with the legendary Sun Ra. I would love to collaborate and produce an album with them one day.

 

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How do you feel about the idea and movement around the “New Africa”?
It depends on what you mean by “New Africa”. My definition of this New Africa is one that is global. The awakening of a sleeping giant, that is the diaspora. A resurgence in the consciousness that is the Africans and or their offspring. A reconnection between the diaspora and the African continent that will change the world as we know it, consciously, culturally, spiritually and economically.

If the concept of a “New Africa” means that we’re more inspired to embrace our heritage, culture and values then I’m all for it. However, if it means the African Continent is busy trying to match Western standards in its politics and behavior then I’m not so enthused. The African continent and its diaspora is at the crossroads. Now where we can look at history, the effect it has had on its environment and population. Based on these facts it has the opportunity to decide how it’s going to make it, through this century in a sustainable manner.

 

To finish off, let’s hear about some of your favourites – Who are your favorite designer and what’s your favorite song/track of all time?
Some of my favorite designers are MaXhosa by Laduma, Hamid Holloman, Adama Paris and Art Comes First.

One of my favorite songs of all time is: “Baayo” by Baaba Maal.

 

 

Thank you for this interview, it’s much appreciated. I’m looking forward to taking my show on the road in 2017 so hope to see some of you in Germany …

 

If you’re in Amsterdam this weekend be sure to check Bamba’s BlackStereo Records programme for Amsterdam Dance Event 2016: parties, Q&A sessions and a photography exhibition. For Blackstereo Records full ADE 2016 program see www.blackstereorecords.com.

 

Midnight at the Museum

Keep up with Bamba on instagram