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Serengeti Music



Biography

Video

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The Beginning
The word Serengeti originates from Maasai and is used to describe the endless plains of the African national park and region “the place where the sky and earth meet”. In 2008 two singer/songwriters, Stina Velocette / Zany Lou (previously known as Mästerkatten/Mastercat) and True adopted the word Serengeti to mark the joining of their musical forces. What started as collaboration on one song quickly turned into a mutual goal fuelled by their love for reggae, roots and dancehall music.
Zany Lou and True were bitten early by the reggae/ragga/dancehall bug but spent their youth engaged in a broad variety of musical genres such as hiphop, rock, punk, soul and r&b. The love for music eventually lead the two artists onto the path where they met on a summer tour (2006) while working on separate projects. The lack of reggae/dancehall oriented music from Sweden along with the continual minority representation of female artists motivated a collaboration which in the spring of 2008 gave birth to Serengeti. They received recognition for their work early when they just months after starting were invited to perform on the main stage at Europe’s largest reggae festival, Rototom Sunplash Festival in Italy and featured on the Rototom Sunplash official compilations CD “Reggae Girls” released at the 2009 festival. By late 2009 Serengeti released their first official single “Walk With An Empress” with the German label SoundQuake. The Empress riddim release, produced by Swedish reggae sensation and producer Kap10 (Kapten Röd), received positive feedback and airtime on radio shows hosted by Sentinel Sound (Germany), David Rodigan (UK) and Tek-9 Sound (NY). “Walk With An Empress” was on the German Reggae Charts for 7 weeks and ranked as high as 2nd place.

“Standing Steady” – The debut album
Two years of hard work, sweat, laughs and tears culminated into a 15 track album jam packed with pulsating dancehall, modern roots, reggae, soca vibes and afrobeats including the hit singel “Walk with an empress”. Serengeti’s first full length album “Standing Steady” was released april 2010 on the label ILLEGYAL Records which is run and co owned by Zany Lou and True of Serengeti alongside Clara Star. The album features collaborations with Etzia, Joey Fever and Fresharda and productions by Partillo Productions (SWE), Kap10 (SWE), Fresharda & Gifted (ENG), Cornadoor & Berteaux (GER) and Serengeti themselves.


Introducing Lady Louise
In 2009 Lady Louise was asked to join the duo on tour as part of a DJ live set. Before this Lady Louise had made a name for herself as a wicked skilled “onegyal sound” playing shows both in Sweden and internationally. Lady Louise is a prominent feature on the Swedish dancehall/reggae scene since the start of her club Jamrock in 2007. Jamrock is one of few clubs in Sweden which hosts some of Europe’s most established Sounds making Gothenburg the city to visit if you want a taste of the international dancehall/reggae vibes. It only took a few months before the decisions to cement their collaboration was reached and they began working more intensely towards promoting themselves as a crew combining live shows and juggling shows with mc´s. In 2010 Lady Louise together with NuhEasy Productions and Gaza Empire, organised, promoted and backed Jamaican artists Jah Vinci and Popcaan on their first European tour in 2011 and in 2012 Lady Louise managed jamaican artist Charly Blacks European tour.

Touring the world
After the release of their debut album “Standing Steady” April 2010, Serengeti toured Sweden, France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, South Africa, and Denmark. Performing at the big festivals such as Splash!, Ruhr Reggae Summer, Peace & Love, Urkult, Uppsala Reggae Festival, Rototom Sunsplash and doing stageshows at Flying to Jamaica, Rude 7, Kingston Hot, Yaam and many more clubs and events. In December 2010 Illegyal Record cofounders Clara Star, Zany Lou and True travelled to South Africa for a cultural exchange project sponsored by the Swedish Institute, SI. The Illegyal Records tour named “Music is a solution, not a competition. Music is a tool for change” passed through Johannesburg, Soweto, Capetown, Gughulethu, Knysna, Motherwell and Port Elizabeth where Clara Star, Zany Lou and True held workshops for disadvantaged youths and others with music as an interest. Serengeti also held several shows during the tour the most memorable was featuring as the opening act for Public Enemy – worlds most respected and famous hip hop pioneers. This was an initiative from Public Enemy themselves after seeing Serengeti performance a show in Soweto, Johannesburg. The Illegyal Records tour was an incredible experience and the meetings with South African artists was a great inspiration.

Recognition in media
During 2010 and 2011 Serengeti got a lot of recognition in media.  They were invited to following swedish radio shows: P3 Session, P3 Sommarsession, P3 Planet, hosted Musikguiden i P3, made several appearances on Morgonpasset Helg and SRP4 and two of the singles from the album Standing Steady were on Swedish Radio rotation. Serengeti also performed on several TV shows such as TV4 Nyhetsmorgon, Garage SVT and Musikhjälpen i P3 and featured in magazines and newspapers such as Kingsize, GP, DN and GT. The ladies have also received airtime and done interviews outside of Sweden specially in Germany. In 2011 their debut album was nominated for  Swedish Manifest Award (an award that recognises independant artists) - in the rhythm-category for best album 2010. Although they did not win the award it must be said that Serengeti as independent artists who have never worked with any major label or booking company have made great accomplishments, reached a worldwide audience and been rewarded by recieving all this love from the media.

Jamaica and touring with Looptroop Rockers
In April 2011 Serengeti flew to Jamaica for some inspiration and ended up recording a song with big roots artist Lutan Fyah, recorded another song for a riddim release with Young Veterans and opened for Assassin aka Agent Sasco at his show in Port Antonio. In the end of May Serengeti released the video “March with us” for the upcoming Ruff Jam riddim release. You can find the music video on youtube. Straight after returning from Jamaica Serengeti joined the famous Swedish hiphop group Looptroop Rockers on the Professional Dreamers Tour as opening act. The tour included 7 dates in Germany, Switzerland and Czech Republic and they continued to be a part of this tour throughout the summer while also doing their own shows at SummerJam (Germany), Graffitibox Jam (Germany), Uppsala Reggae Festival (P3 Sommarsession) to name a few.

Rebellious Hearts – the second album

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The long awaited second album was released September 2013 on the reputable indie record label SwingKids and four singles from the album, “Keep keepin on”, “I am the one”, “No more” and “Can’t test we” got radio rotation in Sweden during 2013 and 2014, and two of the singles reached top ten on the German Reggae Chart. Rebellious Hearts is a contemporary reggae album with distinct influences of afro beat, dancehall and hip hop. The album consists of eleven songs about the everyday struggle, love songs with a twist and self empowerment. True and Zany Lou continue working with Swedens most well known reggae producers Partillo Productions and Kapten Röd / KAP10 BEATS on the album as well as collaborating with the worlds most renowned producer Don Corleon on the reggae ballad “Dear Love”. Top artists who make guest appearances include Lutan Fyah, Syster Sol, Agent Sasco and Etzia.

Touring Sweden with The Empress Union

After the release of “Rebellious Hearts” Serengeti did tour during 2013 and 2014 together with the backing band “The Empress Union”. Serengeti startded this backing band together with 5 female musicians, as and act to show the world that an all female backing band with great musicians, can be all female. They did this as one of many things in the struggle for an equal music scene and music industry. Serengeti and The Empress Union did a lot of great shows through out Sweden and got a lot of positive respons. Some of the shows were Swedish Radio “P3 Live Session”, Öland Roots, Kägelbanan in Stockholm and Kulturkalaset in Göteborg.

Workshops

Besides touring the world and performing, Serengeti devote a lot of their time working with projects that involve activating and inspiring youths to work with music. With over 15 years experience of creating music, performing, touring, managing a music career and business as independent artists, promotion, recording and producing for themselves and other artists and running a record company and studio (plus beeing woman in the music industry) Serengeti have an enormous wealth of knowledge to share. For more info about their workshops – Check out the page “workshops” here on the website, and send an email to info (a) serengetimusic.com if you want to book them for one.

 

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