Ganga is from the Central African country of Chad. As a toddler, he took an early interest in music listening to recordings of African pop stars from the forties and fifties on his grandfather's phonograph. From there, his life and love of music led him through rock and roll, punk, funk and reggae across three continents to Seattle.
In Seattle, Ganga founded the KALASS World Music Project to reunite rhythmically, lyrically and instrumentally African pop with other contemporary African world music styles like Soca and Zouk from the Caribbean and Jazz, R&B and Funk from the US. Kind of like an extended family reunion.
In Chad the term "Kalass" means, "enough is enough." Now is the time to promote solidarity, common understanding, unity and love and transcend old clichés about the differences between cultures that promote division and injustice. Like Bob Marley's One Love, One World concept, Kalass is an avenue through music to underscore the interconnectedness of the people of the world and the universal desire for happiness.
About the Sample Cuts:
Vocalist Wawali Bonane (Yoka Enzenze), is featured on Faida. He brings authentic soukous vocal styling to this Afro-Caribbean piece. Faida is about relentless greed as a way of life that leads to losing nearly everything...friends, family and your own self-respect.
In this soca infused world music tune, vocalist Flora McGill sings about happiness and the revelation after much searching that it lies within "...no detours or hesitations will keep me from reaching my destination, like a dream so vivid the journey is revealed..."
Sawa Sawa is an uplifting song that features crisp African guitar lines over a Caribbean Soca beat. It will make you dance and sing along. Sawa Sawa is an ode to life and the interconnectedness of all living things.
Unexpected, Belle is a ballad in the classic African Rumba style. Julian Peterson adds R&B vocals, sung in English and French. Belle is a song about love, beautiful love.
Review from the Seattle Weekly (May 2, 2002):
"Kalass, in the country of Chad, means "enough is enough" -and in these joyless days of jihad there's no sentiment quite so universally felt. The cultural transcendence lead singer Ganga sings about is bolstered, thematically and practically, with pan-stylistic musical collage: African guitar, R&B vocal styling, Caribbean rhythms strummed softly on steel drums. "Lake Chad," the new band's first recorded instrumental piece, is allegorical to the history of the Central African region around Lake Chad, where the magnificent water body is surrounded by a lush green forest." Christopher Frizzell