The label ‘Strut’ presents a collection of recordings of Tanzania’s most honored but shortly lived band “Sunburst”. In Daar es Salaam young artists have been influenced by Soul, Funk and R’n’B for a long time. Especially after US blues singer Buddy Guy gave a concert there in 1969. The neighborhood Upanga in Dar Es Salaam was renamed “Soulville” because numerous soul bands had their roots there – just like “Sunburst”.
After a concert as the main act on a party welcoming Angela Davis, the band got a growing local and national audience in June 1973. Their breakthrough came after a radio session at Radio Tanzania in which they created the song “ Kosa Langu Mpenzi”. During this time a session was the only way to be heard on the radio. The lyrics on their first album “Ave Africa” described the sound of sunburst as a “fusion of traditional sounds and western rock, mixed with a dash of the Caribbeans.”
It was a surprise to many when the band announced their break-up at the same time as promotions for their album “Ave Africa” started. Manager Peter Bagshawe explained, the band members wanted to go separate ways. He moved to South Africa and kept an archive of old recordings, photos and a demo, although he has lost contact with the band. The radio session and “Ave Africa” are now available for sale.
Listen to their song “Vijana” !