Ahamada Smis
Gig Seeker Pro

Ahamada Smis

Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band World Spoken Word




"Songlines n° 99 april-may 2014"

Ahamada Smis "Origines"
"French port poet goes back to his island roots"
For his second full-length album, Marseille-based urban poet Ahamada Smis has pointed his musical compass towards the contry of his birth, the Comoros. Comoran music takes influences from Arabic, Bantu, Swahili and Malagashy styles, and Origines sheds light on this multiplicity. As the culmination of Smis' workshops tour of the Comoros Islands, La Réunion and Tanzania, the album presents a snapshot soundrack of the Indian Océan. It was recorded with musicians from each stop on the tour, resulting in an interesting mix of local styles, all bound by Smis socially conscious poetry. The collaborations with Zanzibari taarab musician Mohamed Issa Matona are perhaps the strongest on the album; his use of Arabic instruments such as qanun (zither) and oud alongside their comoran equivalents, the dzenzé and gaboussi, provide intriguing comparisons.
The traditional styles of the Comoros and surrounding cultures meld with the cool, rocky grooves of Smis' band surprisingly well Smis' poetry works perfectly within this musical landscape, whether weaving naturaly with the music or standing starkly away from it. Origines is not only capable of showcasing traditional music from an oft-overlooked culture, but also helps to delve into music's history while still being, most importantly, a very pleasing album. - Jim Hickson

"Complete Press "Origines" Press review to download"

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/46718061/Revue%20de%20presse%20Origines%202014.pdf - Colombe Records


2013 Ahamada Smis "Origines" (Colombe Records/L'Autre Distribution) / LP

2010 Ahamada Smis "Etre" (Colombe Records) / LP

2004 Ahamada Smis "Stop a l'Affront" (E-streetz) / compilation/ one track 

2004 Sur Un Air Positif (Virgin) / compilation / one track  

2003 French Connection (Kopfnicker records/Pias) / compilation/ one track

2003 Ahamada Smis "Ou va ce monde ?" (Colombe Records) / EP

2002 Ahamada Smis Feat. in "Avec le coeur ou rien" (Sony) / Album 3oeil/ one track

2001 Ahamada Smis Gouttes d'eau (Colombe records) / Maxi single



Ahamada Smis story is made of words and music, which some will call poetry slam. Influenced by Marseille, faith, poetry, peoples stories from all around the world, as well as his origins, the poet Ahamada Smis has for the past ten years not only cultivated his own music genre a blend of hip hop and world music - but also collected words of all kinds. New ones, used ones, sincere ones.

Child of the Comoro Islands, Ahamada Smis landed in Marseille when he was 10 years old. He rapidly expressed his talents through poetry and when French rappers found credibility in defining themselves as being gangsters, he was talking about peace and water drops.

Even though I was always influenced by hip hop, I always wanted to unite different publics. Today poetry slam is allowing me to do so.

In 1989 IAM, Black Tigers force, and MB Force were hanging out at the subway station Vieux Port. Ahamada Smis was writing by their sides and recording tracks on B sides. After a time out of six years, he decided to come back with the goal in mind to make a living out of his writing. From the beginning he was supported by 3e Oeil, a hip hop band from Marseille who appreciated his softness and strength of identity.

Ahamada Smis multiplied the live appearances and in 2001 released his first Maxi single "Gouttes d'eau" (Water Drops) on his label Colombe records that he started that same year. In 2003 he puts out a 6 track-EP "Ou va ce monde?" (Where Is This World Going?) and his first album, "Etre" (Be) on Colombe records.

He also participated to a French-German compilation called "French Connection" (featuring Shurikn and Faf La Rage among others) that took him on a German tour and included a performance at the Francofolies in Berlin, that later appeared on Trax, a music show of the German-French TV channel Arte.

Ahamada Smis did not want to rush. He even used time at his advantage. After years of hard work and perseverance, he went from composing in the rooms of a steal factory to writing his poetry in professional music studios. He carefully constructed a universe of his own and when everybody was expecting him to come up with lyrics about street life, he surprised everybody with his own reality.

On the album "Etre" (Be) are featured artists like Pierre-Laurent Bertolino, Cyril Benhamou, David Walters, Sibongile Mbambo, Miquu et Baltazar Montanaro, and Mike Aub, Bawuta Kin, Staff Benda Bilili... Through these various collaborations, "Etre" (Be) became an acoustic tribute to cultural exchanges.

Ahamada Smis is back today with a new project, "Origines".

The album has been released in november of 2013. Its artistic basis is a fusion of traditional music from the Comoros with urban poetry, in an afro-ngoma spirit (a Comorian afro-beat)... "Origines" was recorded during a stay as an artist in residence leading musical creation workshops in Mayotte, Grand Comore, Anjouan, Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar and Reunion. There, Ahamada Smis drew inspiration from the origins of sambe, twarab, mgodro, maloya, deba (all of them part of the arabo-bantu heritage of the Indian Ocean). The material that was gathered during these trips was mixed by Ulrich Edorh at the Da Town studio, in Marseille, where some bass and drums lines were added to some of he pieces in order to achieve the hybrid form sought by Ahamada.

For the live performance "Origines" Ahamada Smis will be accompanied by 2 multi-instrumentalists who took part in the residences in the Indian Ocean Region. Originally from Grand Comore, Soubi plays the gaboussi and the dzenze. Mohamed Issa Matona, a member from a taarab orchestra in Zanzibar, is an oud, violin and kanun virtuoso. Two  line-ups are available for this new project :

Acoustic trio

Ahamada Smis : spoken words, rap, song (Marseilles/Comoros) ; Soubi : gaboussi, dzenze, song (Comoros) ; Mohamed Issa Matona : violin, oud, ngoma, song (Zanzibar) ; 

Live Band

Ahamada Smis : spoken words, rap (Marseilles/Comoros) ; Willie Walsh : drums (Marseilles) ; Mfoungoulie Ibrahim : Ngoma (percussion), bass (Marseilles/Comoros) ; Soubi : gaboussi, dzenz, voice (Comoros) ; Mohamed Issa Matona : violin, oud, voice (Zanzibar) ; Sibongile Mbambo : chorus (Marseilles)

Band Members