Published Oct 15, 2008If tributes in song could win electoral college votes, Barack Obama would have been measuring drapes in the White House nine months ago. Certainly, Obamas campaign has attracted the most groove-centric endorsements (with the exception of Daddy Yankee) of any U.S. Presidential campaign ever. The latest tributes to Obama come from Haitian-American singer Manze Dayila, and East African vocal legend Samba Mapangala.
Dayilas personal story is remarkable. She fled Haiti in a leaky boat and washed up on a Florida beach eight months pregnant. After giving birth in Miami, eventually she made her way to New York and eked out a living busking in the subways. She recently released her debut album, Sole, which marries voodoo songs and Creole lyrics to a pan-African pop sound. Her ode to Obama, "Change, finds her in a bit of an Afrobeat hyperspace groove, whipping percussion and her booming vocals into a frenzy.
Mapangala, on the other hand, fronts the celebrated OrchestraVirunga of Kenya, Obamas fathers homeland, so you pretty much knew he wasnt going to be endorsing McCain. Mapangala has lived in the USA for the last four years and recorded "Obama Ubarikiwe" ("Obama Be Blessed) at Chicagos famous jazz-centric recording studio, Riverside. A percolating, multi-guitar attack characterizes this gentle anthem.
And then theres the Z-Trip mix if you want a long form (50-plus minutes) tribute to the man
Samba Mapangala "Obama Ubarikiwe