Zansa

Zansa

 Asheville, North Carolina, USA
BandWorldAfropop

Led by 33rd generation West African musician Adama Dembele, a native of Ivory Coast, Zansa melds traditional African rhythms and song forms with modern afropop, African drumming, and the dance-oriented Ivorian street music called Zouglou. The music is rooted in the West African drumming tradition Dembele was born into and blended with a modern approach, lending familiarity to foreign sounds. The result is an original take on the authentic music of West Africa.

Biography

The music of Zansa, a Nouchi slang word from Ivory Coast meaning "combination" or "blend," is a synthesis of traditional and modern styles of West Africa. The Asheville, NC-based ensemble melds African folk music with modern afropop, African drumming, and the dance-oriented Ivorian street music called Zouglou.

Zansa is led by 33rd generation West African musician Adama Dembele, a native of Ivory Coast, who began his music career in the late '90s by founding the drum & dance group Djembeso. He adapted traditional songs and rhythms, eventually molding them into his own style. After moving to Asheville, NC in 2005, Dembele has continued to develop and expand his sound, now singing in multiple languages- French, Baoule, Bambara, and English.

Today, Zansa is taking those traditional African songs and rhythms and incorporating Western instruments, such as electric guitar, violin, bass, and drum set, offering a wide range of sonic possibilities. The music is rooted in the West African drumming tradition Dembele was born into and blended with a modern approach, lending familiarity to foreign sounds. The result is an original take on the authentic music of West Africa.

Lyrics

Walk Away

Written By: Adama Dembele,Ryan Reardon

Sung in Bambara, French, and English

We nah louwoh n’goye ya fa nougouma- “I walk away”
Danga mangi anou sissan demisslh nouko
Aii niden kake fientoleye dounouya-oh
Aii niden kake fotho dounounya
Aii niden kake fantan dounouya
Aii niden kake nambara dounouya...Ikana dangah
“I walk away...Don’t make me walk away...”

Wakou weh chakain a son gban gban- oh- “I walk away”
Voila pour quoi je vois me couru oh

TRANSLATION:
Mothers and fathers, treat your children well.
Even if they are blind, sick, poor, or broken.
Forgive them, for they have done no wron

Mi Wa

Written By: Adama Dembele,Ryan Reardon,Matt Williams

Mi Wa- Faraway Love Song
Sung in French and Baoule

Eh, eh eh eh, Mi wa mi wa gnoh…

Lumière de mon coeur. Lumière de ma vie
Meme si moi je vie, loin de ta presense
Tu sais bien que sans toi chérie
Ma vie na plus de séance, a ton amour,
vient me rend heureux ma beaute naturelle

Oh toi mon amour. Oh toi ma Joie due
Tu a gache ma vie, Par un notre choix
Tu sais bien que sans toi chéri
Ma vie n'a plus de sans, a ton amour
Viens me rend heureux ma beaute naturelle

Oh l’enfant, “Allez yako”

TRANSLATION:
Light of my heart. Light of my life
Even if I leave, far away from you
You still know without you my life doesn’t make sense
With your love you make me happy, my natural beauty

You’re my love. You’re my joy
You spoiled my life with your other choice
You know without you baby my life doesn’t make any sense
Your love just makes me happy, my natural beauty

My friends, I know this has happened to you, “Yes, but it’s okay”

Sira Lon Balia

Written By: Adama Dembele,Ryan Reardon

Sung in Bambara

Sira dja sabah wato djouma feh- “Sira lon balia”...
N’gne le ba yela n’toro le ba me na sira le- “Sira lon balia”
Sira dja sabah wato djouma feh- “Sira lon balia”

Sira souroun’ba le be mogo filli fasso man- “Fasso mahn”...

TRANSLATION:
If you knew then what you know now you wouldn’t have taken all of those different paths.
But, no one knows the right path. You have to try them first.
“Nobody knows the way.”
You think you know the way because you started before me. But, the long road can sometimes be the right path, and the shortcut can end up leading you the wrong way. You may lose your way home because you thought you knew the right way.
“My home, my country”

Discography

Djansa, released 2013