Razia Said - New Album - Zebu Nation

Studio G is a musical safe haven production space where I find I am inspired everyday and I wish to share this musical ride with you, the blog reader.. .

Today the music of singer and songwriter Razia Said is being featured on an underwriting spot I am producing for Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park. Said's haunting vocals drew me in and I wanted to know more about her and her musical journey. Razia Said's nomadic life has taken her across Africa to France, Italy, Ibiza, Bali and New York City, but despite these wanderings, her heart and soul, according to her bio, remain inexorably tethered to Madagascar, the land of her birth.

Her musical explorations have also been wide ranging, and over the years Razia has experimented with French chanson, rock, jazz and even smooth, Sade-style R&B. But it took reaching back to her cultural roots for Razia to uncover her true artistic calling as one of African music’s most promising talents.

With the album Zebu Nation, Razia has created an inspiring collection of songs that draw deeply on the music she heard growing up in the town of Antalaha in northeastern Madagascar.

Razia had been traveling often to visit her family in Madagascar, and after she had a chance meeting with members of Njava, one of the country’s best bands, she decided that she needed to record songs in the Malagasy language and inspired by the rhythms, melodies and instruments she fell in love with as a young child.

Thus began the long and challenging process of recording Zebu Nation. Work began in 2006 In Belgium, where Njava was based, but Razia felt that the only way to truly capture the sound she was looking for was to bring the producers to Madagascar to record with local musicians in the right setting.

For six weeks, they traveled around the island, and discovered along the way the environmental damage taking place as the result of unfettered slash and burn agriculture and climate change. Razia’s longing to protect and preserve the environmental and cultural heritage of her homeland permeates the songs on the album, and gives Zebu Nation a powerful, real-world significance.

Razia Said will be performing at Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park on Thursday, August 5.

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