Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fly Obama Mamas

Blending fierce African flavor with sophisticated French flair, Les Nubians personify global style. Crooning their signature mix of soaring harmonies, jazz melodies and African beats, the sister duo appeared at Chicago's African Festival of the Arts over Labor Day weekend. I covered the sizzling show and was struck by just how well they reflect the connections between Africa and the Western world. Slinking out in curve-skimming halter dresses inlaid with African print fabric at the top and embellished with beads and cowrie shells, Celia rocked a curly 'fro and Helene an afro puff. They sang in French and shimmied their hips in traditional African dance. They rapped in English and announced the African concept for audience participation: "You can't shake it with your brain. You shake it with your yaunch. That means your ass. The original Africanology is very simple. If you don't dance, we don't dance!" Les Nubians connected it all together when they explained their hit "Demain" from their debut album. "Demain means tomorrow in French," said Helene. "There are so many things we are foreseeing for tomorrow, like, the new president of the United Sates! The whole world is watching you! They used to mark time with before Christ, after Christ. Now it will be before Obama, after Obama! " Giving a nod to the ultimate symbol joining Africa and the West, Les Nubians repped Obama in true fly girl style.


Anonymous said...

I was at that festival! You were right on target! They were wonderful. I'm especially happy that they were able to have a complete set.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm glad you tipped me off to your blog! I got to see Les nubians in a giant outdoor concert here in Portland a few years back. They were, as you described, Amazing. One of them was partly raised with her Belgian father in the Congo with the M'baka pygmy people and she drew a lot of inspiration from their awesome percussion singing. And yeah, the eyes of the world ARE upon us and everyone has so much hope for America if only we can get Obama into the White House. I hope we won't disappoint ourselves and the world come November! ok off to read more of your posts -ooh brazil!

Anonymous said...

LOL Lydia! That's Marie from Zap Mama! Les Nubians were born in Bordeaux to a Frech Dad and Cameroonian mom, they lived in Cameroon and Chad. They do have a similar sound though!

Anonymous said...

i LOVE les nubians.

and i like that... before obama, after obama. ha!!

thanks for stopping by chica.

gotta add another flyy girl to the blog roll.

loving your blog. very informative!


Anonymous said...

I haven't heard their music in years but i really love their style.

Anonymous said...

I know, they haven't be getting as much visibility in the U.S. But they have a new album that should be out in a few weeks!