Thursday, February 05, 2009

Omary Kopa - Zanzibar Taarab

This is proper Zanzibar Taarab which I purchased in the gift shop of the House of Wonders in Stone town. I am finding that lots of the Taarab is heavy on the kind of arabic style singing and doesn't have much of a traditional song structure (or at least a song structure I'm used to). The singer seems to wander all over the place without much of a melody. So I'm not posting all of the songs, just the ones which I think are a bit more catchy.

I can't find much info about Omary Kopa but I think the 3 tunes are quite catchy, particularly track 3. I can't tell what the tracks are called but I've guessed on 2. The cd had 6 songs on it and for sure they're not in the order on the cover.

Namtunza Mwanangu

Track 3
(listen below)

Tufurahie Kitchen Party


Timothy said...

You say that you opted to post the tracks that "are a bit more catchy." I wonder whether that is in keeping with the spirit of Taarab music. The real power of Taarab music lies in the lyrics, not least because the words often have a manifest literal meaning and a latent hidden meaning. It's music that is meant to be listened to carefully. Classical Taarab is very, very slow, a far cry from the modern vibrant variety. Track 4 "Usia wangu" (my advice) is probably the kind of Taarab that compels listeners to listen, rather than get onto the dance floor. Anyway thanks for the post. We'll watch this space!

Anonymous said...

Omary Kopa was the son of the Taarab Diva or the Queen of Taarab in East Africa Khadija Kopa. The cassette you bought was his last one before he passed away. He was a very good singer with lots of fan in Tanzania mainland as well as Zanzibar.

This cassette is mostly used by women in Kitchen party where they do pre wedding party for women. The words are kind of last words a mother/parent will give to her daughter before marriage. The whole cassette is about African pre wedding teachings for girls. Normally the words in a song like kitchen party will make both mother and daughter cry!

Thanks for posting the song.