San Francisco, California, USA

SILA, winner of the 2010 NAACP Image Awards & the 2009 San Francisco Weekly Music Awards, has been called "Kenyan funk master" (San Francisco Chronicle) & "Africa's James Brown" (Oakland Post).


San Francisco-based singer SILA independently releases his sophomore recording Black President (Visila Records). An album inspired by the historic election of the first African-American U.S. president, whose title track has already been downloaded more than 10,000 times, Black President is currently available in retail outlets and online via iTunes and

Kenyan native SILA has been called a "Kenyan funk master" (San Francisco Chronicle) and"Africa's James Brown" (Oakland Post), SILA draw inspiration from Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti while distinguishing themselves by incorporating African genres such as zouk and soukous, as well as the music of Western artists including Sly Stone and Funkadelic. Black President finds the ensemble moving further toward progress and change in both their lives and their music, with blossoming musical chemistry, deep funky Afro-grooves and strong socially-conscious, politically-aware lyrics.

SILA began writing material for Black President prior to the November 2008 election of President Barack Obama. The prospect of the first African-American U.S. president raised hopes not only in America but internationally as well. As Sila explains, ‚"Many Africans believe that Obama is African and he owns his lineage and heritage to Africa. He is a son of Africa; it is in his heart and in the blood of his children. His roots are in Kenya.‚"Obama's historic victory, and the promise that holds for U.S.-African relations, is depicted in the album cover art by painter Jarrod Eastman, which shows a casually dressed and relaxed Obama holding Africa in his hands, the continent illuminated from the inside by the sun

Barack Obama, James Brown and Fela Kuti offer an iconic trinity of musical, cultural, political and ideological influences on Black President. Like Kuti, Sila connects personal issues with larger social and political ideas, and echoes of classic Afrobeat are evident in the Afrofunk Experience's call-and response choruses, highly syncopated percussion, blazing horns and incessant grooves. Brown's inspiration can be heard in Sila's shrieks and screams as well as the band's punchy horns, chicken-scratch guitar and funky bass lines. In the title track, the band chugs along with a locomotive-like groove while Sila riffs on the imperative for change which swept Obama to victory. Other emotionally-charged songs address the global AIDS epidemic, neo-colonialism and political corruption, tribalism in African society and warmongering among Western nations, and explore influences from kinky reggae to Latin-tinged rhythms to Motown-y pop/soul stylings.

A musical and artistic breakthrough, Black President reflects a deeper realization of the band's ever-evolving identity. To paraphrase Fela's famous credo, SILA want to use music as a weapon for peace and cultural education. "My goal on the album was to reach out to the younger generation, who have never heard of Baaba Maal or Youssou N'Dour," Sila explains. "I want to make African music hip to young people."

SILA won "Outstanding World Music Albumr" at the 2010 NAACP image Awards, 2009 San Francisco Weekly Music Awards for "Best International act" and has played such prestigious events as the inaugural Outside Lands Music Festival, Stern Grove Festival, Fillmore Jazz Festival (headliners for five years in a row including at the 25th Annual festival occurring on July 4 & 5, 2009), and Berkeley Jazz Music Festival. The band's current lineup consists of tenor saxophonist Roger Cox , bassist Mike Shiono guitarist Khalil Doak-Anthony, drummer Bennie Murray, trombonist Andre Webb, and master African percussionists Karamba Kouyate (from Guinea) and Samba Guisse (from Senegal).

In keeping with his mission to combine music with humanitarian efforts, SILA has for the past five years co-produced the Afrofunk Festival, raising musical consciousness among audiences from Seattle to San Diego to raise much-needed funds for education, medical, and health services for East African children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. Playing benefit shows, Sila explains, is his way‚ to stay connected to other people, to remember that it's not only about us but community." For tour dates and more information on SILA, please visit


I Hope It's Me

Written By: SILA

Someone should hold when times are rough
Someone should tell you how beautiful you are
Someone should lift you when you fall

I hope it's me (repeat)

Someone should call you when you need someone to talk to
Someone should kiss you when want someone to kiss you back

I hope It's me (repeat)
Cant you see


SIla and the Aforufnk Experience: Black President (2009)
Sila and the Afrofunk Experience: The Funkiest Man in Africa (May 2006)
Victor SIla: Waiting (2001)

Set List

2 sets
Totals 90 mins