Tama

Most bands, whether in the western rock tradition or in African music, are built around the concept of a leader - one strong character who is the main writer, singer and spokesman and who dominates proceedings so that the other band members are little more than hired guns.

The beauty of Tama is that there is no single leader but four equally accomplished musicians and songwriters with their own contrasting but complimentary voices. “As a group it’s totally democratic and open,” explains guitarist Sam Mills.

"Tama is a kind of space where the four of us can come together from different cultures and traditions and express ourselves." Sam Mills

“Tama is a kind of space where the four of us can come together from different cultures and traditions and express ourselves. It’s a band of distinctive individual personalities but everybody contributes to the realisation of each other’s songs.”

As the name ‘Tama’ (a Bambara word meaning ‘to walk’) suggests, the band’s approach was to collect years of travelling memories rather than trying to represent or revive a traditional folklore.

Tama

Guinea-Bissau, Mali, United Kingdom

Further reading

Les Amazones d’Afrique announce new album ‘Amazones Power’

The long-awaited follow up to their 2017 critically-acclaimed debut is out on 24 January 2020.

Spiro announce new live collaboration with Synergy Vocals

The contemporary classical vocal group are known as Steve Reich's vocalists of choice.

Track of the day: ‘Áthas’ by The Gloaming

Find out more about one of the stand-out tracks on The Gloaming's third album.

18 voices on the new album by Les Amazones d’Afrique

Amazones Power, their second album, features voices from Africa and the diaspora