Group Members: Celine 'T Hooft, Marie Daulne, Sabine Kabongo, Cecilia Kandonda, Sylvie Nawasadio
Styles: Acappella, Africa, Worldbeat, World Fusion
Zap Mama is an all-female a cappella quintet founded by Zaire native Marie Daulne. Daulne's father, a white Belgian, was killed during the revolution of 1960 while her mother was pregnant with her, so the remainder of the family fled to the forests and found refuge with a tribe of pygmies. Daulne was raised primarily in Europe, but when she heard a recording of traditional pygmy music at age 20, she decided to return to Africa to learn about her heritage. She was trained in pygmy onomatopoeic vocal techniques before returning to the West to found Zap Mama. Her group blends world music styles from all over the globe with little, if any, instrumental or percussive backup other than what group members can do with their voices and bodies. Their 1993 debut, Adventures in Afropea I, became the biggest-selling non-compilation album in the history of Luaka Bop Records, helped in part by an opening slot on that summer's 10, 000 Maniacs tour. A year later, they released a follow-up, Sabsylma; 7 followed in 1997. A Ma Zone appeared in 1999.
- Steve Huey (All Music Guide)