At the core of Nsimbi‘s new single “Mujje”, released ahead of the group’s upcoming eponymous release, is a sense of love. The song’s title is itself a wish, meaning “come together” in Luganda, one of Uganda’s major languages; the brilliantly expressive dancers key to the video hearken to longstanding communal traditions of coming together at night to tell stories through song and movement.
Nsimbi, too, is a product of togetherness. A husband-and-wife duo, it consists of Ugandan MC GNL Zamba and American singer-songwriter Miriam Tamar, who unite to bring positive vibes to their cross-cultural collaboration.
“The song is about the power of coming together as humans,” says Tamar, “so we wanted to use the visuals to really play with that idea, as well as to mirror a sense of the various dualities in our lyrics, such as positivity and negativity.” These dichotomies are clear from the start, as sharp, artificially lit textures stand stiffly in contrast to the flowing movements of brightly adorned dancers, engaged in exaggerated push-and-pull with each other.
“In the video,” Tamar continues, “we enter a world where people are finding their way to disconnect from the digital world so they can reconnect with each other.”
Zamba adds: “The album was inspired by ancient Swahili proverbs, but it centers around African culture – more generally, the ancient insights it conveys. We want to show people today how relevant that knowledge is. We want to promote that oneness this knowledge suggests.”
As each element of the song and video comes together – Zamba’s rhythmic raps, Tamar’s strong and soaring voice, light, color, and body paint – Nsimbi realizes this goal, showing how worlds, traditions, and languages don’t have to carelessly collide. Instead, they can come together in interhemispheric harmony.
Nsimbi is now available for pre-order and will be released on 22 June.