Mario Swagga & DJ Silila
"Mapenzi Digital (Digital Love)"
on all digital streaming services world-wide & Bandcamp
Combining an Afro-Punk do it yourself attitude, lyrics which tell of the fun and complexity of young people’s lives in Dar es Salaam as well as the energy and
vibrancy of their driving drums Mario Swagga and DJ Silila have a truly distinctive
and original sound. Coming from the informal settlements of Kiwalani, Dar es Salaam Mario Swagga and DJ Silila’s music captures the restless energy of young people in this growing metropolis. This is music to get moving to as Mario sings in
Party La Uhakika (Epic Party) “Party as hard as you can, party with the vibe, this is an epic party”.
Singeli, a new electronic music genre originates at street parties called vigodoro held in Dar es Salaam’s informal settlement. Created using the computer programme Virtual DJ, singeli is made when DJ’s cut, looped and sped up sections of older Tanzanian recordings, generating their own unique sonic landscape. This soundtrack typically evolves over an hour of live performance with singers freestyle lyrics over the top of the frantic beats. Singeli creates an Afro-futurist sound through reassembling the sounds of the past. Fusing the unique melodies of Taarab, with the energetic drums of Mnanda and the singular sound of the Mario Swagga’s lyrical style it combine an electronic aesthetic with the traditional sounds of Tanzania. Coming from the Kiwalani district of Dar es Salaam Mario Swagga started performing at street parties in 2009. Performing across Dar es Salaam Mario was named by crowds after the footballer Mario Balloteli because on the stage he possessed some of the same confidence, attitude and swagger. As his reputation grew Mario began to perform at events organized by Clouds FM and was in 2016 crowned the number one Singeli singer in Dar es Salaam at Fiesta Singeri Michano. Mario’s name has gone on to spread across the city and is now ready to travel even further afield.
Recording their songs in their studio, which also doubles as DJ Silila’s one room living space Mario and DJ Silila perform at Vigodoro across the city. The frantic sound of Singeli is perhaps
closest to early jungle but has a uniquely African aesthetic.