World music singers
Zap Mama is a group of five female world music singers founded by Marie Daulne in Brussels in 1990. The group has toured Europe, Africa and the United States, attracting audiences everywhere with its eclectic mixture of soul, gospel and traditional tribal and Afro-Cuban rhythms. The group recorded and released its first album itself in 1991, and they were immediately signed up by David Byrne (former lead singer with Talking Heads, now a leading recording producer) whose record label Luaka Bop re-released the album internationally, where it enjoyed considerable success: it was the Number One album in Billboard’s World Music Chart for 1993, and the group was the subject of a BBC television documentary. In 1994, the group’s second album Sabsylma was nominated for a Grammy Award. Marie Daulne sang guest vocals on albums by The Wizards of Ooze, Maria Bethania and Spearhead, and Michael Franti sang guest vocals on Zap Mama’s third album Seven, which marked the group’s progress from traditional World Music to a more afro-pop or funk sound. This proved to be even more successful, and the group embarked on a triumphal sell-out tour of Africa in 1998. The success of the album A Ma Zone led to Zap Mama being commissioned to provide the soundtrack for the feature film Mission Impossible II , starring Tom Cruise. The members of the group moved to New York and then to The Roots musical collective in Philadelphia while recording the soundtrack and their album Ancestry.