Interview: Zap Mama

I posted about Zap Mama's single "Hello Mama" back in May from her new album ReCreation, and we've since been lucky enough to ask the lady herself a couple of questions via email...

Does your current single Hello To Mama, for the charity CARE, draw on your own experiences of being a daughter or of motherhood?

MD: Absolutely. I grew up with an African mother. So I know what it feels
like to come from a third world country - both the good and bad aspects,
but also from the love and support I received from my childhood. And being
blessed to receive an education. I want to help others to be able to have
that experience too.

The video is stunning, where did you film it and can you tell us about the creative process?

MD: There were 4 of us: Paul Jean Vranken (Editor, Documentary film maker),
Cerina DeRosen (Stylist), Paul Blackthorne (Actor - Lipstick Jungle,
Dresden), and myself. We decided to go to Mali (Africa), take some cameras,
and bring some stylish costumes in our suitcases, and with the help of CARE,
we headed out on an incredible adventure. We really just went to see what
kind of adventure MALI would offer us - to be there and see what Africa
could give us, with our positive vibrations. We didn't have a clear idea of
what we would find over there, but we had faith in the good and the desire
to accomplish something good and beautiful. We shared our talents with the
Malian community and they shared theirs. We wanted to take action to serve
the Universe in beauty and be part of the evolution of humanity. And I thank
my friends and CARE for helping me accomplish and create this video. And
because of 4 of us really gave our full time and talent towards this cause,
we ended up with this humble and good video clip.

Can you tell us about the sources of inspiration or personal experiences that lead to you making the new album ReCreation?

MD: I started the album in Rio, Brazil, cause my friend Vincent Cassel (La Haine, Ocean's 12), asked me to go to Brazil to record with him a cover of the song 'Paroles Paroles'. When I arrived in Brazil, everything was so well synchronized. Everything was there, and came together. I met the right people at the right time - it seemed that the world was turning in my favor. I met the exact right musicians. The weather was amazing. My son (who accompanied me) was in paradise. After I composed all these tracks in Brazil, I returned to Brussels and cut and edited all the tracks. Then I finalized all the beats with Karriem Riggins, and mixed the album with Russ Elevado (D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, Common) - both in Los Angeles. It was so nice. I met someone who offered me his beautiful house in the hills in LA- so I was in perfect harmony with the nature of the world. Then, on our first day of mixing, Obama was elected. To be part of the Obama election was just a wonderful moment - and vacation. And now I offer this soundtrack of beauty to the world... to bring all of us on vacation. Just listen to one track, close your eyes, and enjoy your recreation.

You've always walked your own very unique path artistically, and every album you've made has been met with excitement and critical acclaim, how have you managed not to compromise?

MD: I have compromised a lot - you have no idea. It would cost a lot to do
everything I've desired. I've had so many ideas - like bringing orchestras
into the middle of the forest to record the heart and sound of the forest.
But I have to compromise cause of finite budgets. Hopefully when my fans and
people in general buy the album, I'll have even more support to execute
these ideas.

We actually sent over a couple more questions which I hope we'll have time to get in to at a later date... ReCreation was released on 26th May (listen HERE). The proceeds of the first single "Hello Mama", will go to the charity CARE. Buy it HERE