Dar es Salaam's Young Stars Modern Taarab almost single-handedly created a new style when they released their song "Segere" in 2001. Besides its uncommon mixture of lyrics in both Zaramo and Swahili language the song was especially noteworthy for its fast rhythm directly descending from Zaramo cultural traditions! Akin to a similar synthesis of the same in mchiriku--another modern-style take on Zaramo musical traditions from Dar es Salaam.
Both Segere and mchiriku extend the heritage of the coastal chakacha rhythm and dance which extends all along the coastal rim from the Lamu Archipelago in the north to the Dar es Salaam area in the south, mixing it with even faster Zaramo rhythms and songs. Where mchiriku uses a mix of actual Zaramo ngoma drums (like dumbaki and misondo)--with a small Casio keyboard amplified via megaphones as the sole lead instrument--the Segere style is more like modern taarab and dance band music in its instrumentation: Solo and bass guitar, keyboard. While modern taarab indulges in the ever same drum machine patterns, the main attraction of the Segere style is its live drum set, especially as played by Abdalla "Ng’onda".
Together with bass player Tony Karama and solo guitarist Mjusi Shemboza, Ng’onda propels Segere's songs to ever new heights and speed records. Sadly Segere’s original lead singer Fatuma Rajab died in 2014 after a long illness. Yet she is ably replaced now by powerhouse singer and dancer Neema Maganga and Mwanaidi Ramadhani. Vocal chores are also handled by "Madobe", comparable to a rapper or toaster improvising ever new lines of commentary on the songs or persons in the audience. Segere's performance is more like a theatrical play, acting out the songs or other Zaramo oral stories. A good sense of this drama is provided by some of their locally produced video clips.
The band members of Segere Original are:
Karama Tony - Bass Guitar
Mjusi Shemboza - Solo Guitar
Ghaful Moharami known as "Shabani Madobe" Percussionist & Rapper
Abdallah Jumanne knows as" Ng'onda" - Drummer
Hamisi Nyamula - Marimba
Neema Maganga - Vocals
Mwanaidi Ramadhani - Vocals
Boniface Chakale - Trumpet