Online Q&A: Marie Daulne of Zap Mama


zap mama 14.jpg

For years I've been enthralled with the captivating sounds of the all female Belgian group, Zap Mama . The first time I heard the group's


Online Q&A: Marie Daulne of Zap Mama

  • Online Q&A: Marie Daulne of Zap Mama

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    zap mama 14.jpg

    For years I've been enthralled with the captivating sounds of the all female Belgian group, Zap Mama. The first time I heard the group's classic album, A Ma Zone back in 2000, it completely blew my mind. An album dedicated to polyphonic structure meshed with African instruments, R&B, hip-hop, and countless other sub-genres sent my head spinning and I was infatuated with learning more about the group's lead singer, Congolese born chanteuse, Marie Daulne.

    I eventually got the chance to interview her in person back in 2003 and that 20 minute sit down session only upped my interest in Daulne even more. She talked about not aging in years, but rather in bio rhythms and what life was like for her growing up as an African in Belgium. I got a lot of great stuff then, so when the opportunity to chat with Daulne again came up last week, I didn't hesitate.

    After the jump, check out an interesting Q&A as the Zap Mama founder talks extensively about their new album, Recreation, her own personal winters, and why she's in a much happier place now. And keep in mind that she's got a precious Belgian accent.

    Zap Mama Plays at the Triple Door on Sunday, June 21 at 8 p.m.

    Thanks for taking the time to chat. Where are you?

    Marie Daulne: I'm in Brussels. I arrived this morning from New York. I just decided to move last month. Normally I would like to stay in New York. But I'm a mother and I need to do what's best for my kids. The life is more comfortable in Belgium. We have health care and the school is good. For the kids it's better.

    What's 2009 been like for you?

    2009 for me, it's been an evolution. I'm making changes. I want to connect with more than just artists but also philosophers, ordinary people, or whoever. I want to connect with them and discuss why we are here and what we can do to have a better world. There's also the Obama election. For Afro-Europeans, it means a lot. We want to be active and represent something in that movement too!

    Wow. Were you in the U.S. when Obama was elected president?

    I was in Los Angeles. I was so so happy to be in the country. It was an explosion for me, and for all my community. For myself, it was beautiful. I have no other words, than it was just beautiful.

    Did you ever think your life time that you'd see a black president or black head of state for any Western country, the U.S., France, England -- anywhere?

    No, never. I'm feeling that he's the same mix of me. African but I'm European. I'm so close to him. When I was walking in Union Square I saw a t shirt, Obama Mama, so I put a Zed A P in front and made it Obama Zap Mama (laughs). I was never into politics, never ever. I could never put an image of a politician in my home. Never, but it's there. I have two photos of Obama in my living room. I still can't believe it (laughs) but it's there.

    Why the title ReCreation?

    Because I was at the right moment and that's the best time to recreate something new. At the same time, it doesn't have to be heavy. Sometimes you have to let things be. Let it go. Things happen naturally. Sometimes you have to recoup and fight again.

    Where did you record most of it?

    I recorded it in Brazil. In Rio. I arrived there with my son. I was there with new eyes like a child. I put all the sounds together and worked with local musicians. It was amazing. I was in Brazil one month. Then went back to my laboratory in Belgium to tinker with it. Then I went to Boston, met with G Love and then met with Bilal [both of which make appearances on the album] and then went to Los Angeles and mixed. The whole process was from May 2008 and ending December 2008. Everything was so well synchronized

    On a personal level, how does this album differ from [2007's] Supermoon?

    That last album was sadness. I lost my best friend. That was the darkness. But I found beauty in that darkness too. My best friend passed away. And that is heavy, its hard to lose someone, especially an important friend. Afterward, I feel lonely. That was Supermoon. ReCreation, is what the title says. Now I've learned, I'm stronger. I know where we can find flowers in the deep darkness and sadness. With tears going out, even when you sleep. Wake up with sadness so deep. I touched the bottom, but these days it's easy to take a jump and go high. Now I'm on the high.

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