lunes, 28 de abril de 2014



The Roots Bongo Band started of as an acoustic set of 4 members in 2001. They played mainly small venues, bars and restaurants for entertainment. In 2009 they met Nina Beste in The Gambia whilst recording some music there. The band and Nina wrote a few tracks together and in 2009 she joined the band officially. Having recorded in The Gambia for a while, the band was looking to get a professional debut album together. With the two lead singers Nina and JoeHero living in the UK back then, they decided to record and master the album in London at Oktopus Music.
Roots Reggae and African Cultural Music being the two biggest influences of the band, the debut album 'Leaders of Tomorrow' had to combine these. The band members wrote and composed all the songs on the album. The album consists of 10 songs and 2 remixes and are as the band likes to call it 'Roots Pop Reggae' tracks.
The name 'Roots Bongo Band' was chosen to show that even though mainly Reggae is played, the band is mostly African and will always have traditional African instruments in their music. The band has 3 official members: JoeHero (Guitarist/male lead singer), Nina (female lead singer), Afang Maakangbaa (singer, Bongo, saxophone) and they mostly play together with Omar (bass), Charlie (guitar/keys), Tony (drums).
Except for Nina (who is originally from Germany) all the other members are Gambians.
The band has just started working on some African songs (sung in Mandinka, the local language in The Gambia), which will be featured on the next album planned for 2013.

The message in their music is to unite. Whether this means between black and white, or Europe and Africa. Their songs focus on the positive in life and aim to encourage people. The band works with the charity organization Roots Bongo Academy, which is currently aiming to get together a music school for Gambian youths.

Band background info:

- JoeHero (lead singer / guitarist)
- Nina Beste (lead singer)
- Afang Maakangbaa (lead singer (African Music), Bongo, Saxophone)
- Omar (bass)
- Charlie (guitar, keys)
- Tony (drums)
Joehero started singing and playing the guitar coming out of college at 19. Always having admired famous Reggae singers such as Mikey Spice, Peter Tosh and Morgan Family he has always dreamed of becoming a successful Reggae artist himself and so embarked on this journey by working up to financing his first guitar. He taught himself how to play and song write and a few years later formed the band.

Nina started of singing in the church choir in Germany, she later moved to New York where she had professional voice training and in 2009 she started studying at the University of Westminster. She has a BA (HONS) degree in Commercial Music and has been recording music since 2008.

Afang Maakangbaa started playing music in high school, he played in the school's band as a drummer. After graduation he played in a band for 3 years. He then worked as a nurse to finance his love for music and formed the Roots Bongo Band with Joehero in 2001.

Omar comes from a family of musicians who all play local instruments; he has been playing the bass since childhood and started playing with the band in 2009.

Tony being the youngest instrument player to perform with the band has been playing the drums for a few years in churches and for his school.

Charlie was educated in Music Theory whilst being in the Gambian Army. He since teaches music and several instruments in The Gambia and has been playing with the band since early 2012.

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