Contemporary African Music
Kaïssa sings a unique blend of African, reggae, jazz, R&B, makossa, and Brazilian fusion. As part of her electrifying performing style, she incorporates elements of traditional African music and dance, mixed with contemporary styles.
Now New York-based, Kaissa has surrounded herself with a group of world-class musicians that are building on her vision. Her debut album, “Looking There,” was released in March 2004 by Sony Music South Africa and received rave reviews for its highly engaging vocals and pulsating African/Western rhythmic backdrops.
Behind the beauty, however, there is always a message, with Kaissa’s poignant lyrics talking frankly about the human condition, speaking out against war and injustice, and calling gloriously to her native Cameroon for its love of life and the human spirit. Other heartfelt topics include the joy of playing music, and her connection to relatives both living and passed on, while the album’s title speaks to Kaissa’s own personal way of looking for others, or “beyond”.
The entire Kaïssa’s show is a testament to the power of music that transcends cultural differences.
Originally from Cameroon, Kaïssa grew up in Paris, and quickly became a sought-after performer on the African music scene. Her career includes working with Salif Keita, Cesaria Evora, Manu Dibango, and many, many others.
In New York City, where she has lived for the last 15 years, Kaïssa has performed with her band at many top venues, including Joe’s Pub, Le Bar Bat, SOB’s, Zinc Bar, Central Park Summerstage, Le Poisson Rouge, and many others. She has worked with various artists including Martha Wash and Paul Simon and appeared on television with Diana Ross on Oprah. She was selected as Best Female Vocalist in the African Music Awards 2001 presented by US African Eye Magazine.
Besides her own recordings, Kaïssa appeared on five compilations by Putumayo World Music. Having just completed David Byrne’s world tour, Kaïssa is preparing to release her new EP, working on new material and planning for the next touring season.