Beautiful Soul: Mamadee on Musical Inspiration, Rasta and Re-Connecting with Our Roots Tuesday 13 March, 2012

Mamadee-Pascal

“You know those souls you can trust, souls that want the best for you and souls that are happy when you have success in life?” This is how reggae singer Mamadee, explains the inspiration for her song, “Beautiful Soul.” We think that this is also the best way to describe Mamadee, an Afro-German singer from […]

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Mamadee, Photo by Pascal Benning

“You know those souls you can trust, souls that want the best for you and souls that are happy when you have success in life?” This is how reggae singer Mamadee, explains the inspiration for her song, “Beautiful Soul.” We think that this is also the best way to describe Mamadee, an Afro-German singer from East Germany. Singing about the promise of life and hope, despite the real challenges to peace, both she and her songs carry a beautiful soul.

In our interview with Mamadee, we discuss how Africa inspires her music, Rasta faith, rocking it as a woman in the industry and her current tour with reggae superstar Gentleman.

How did you come to love Reggae?

I guess that happened very early. Even before I was born, my parents were listening to a lot of Reggae. Music was always playing in the house. In my childhood, yeah, that’s when I fell in love with the sound.

Are you Rasta? What does the Rasta lifestyle mean to you?

I don’t consider myself Rasta. But, I am very interested in people and their paths, their views about love, life and beliefs. So, in my own spiritual path, I see many rivers ending in one big ocean…that energy that connects all of us. I believe thoughts and words are very powerful and we should live in a responsible way with each other.

You currently have a single out with Ky-Mani Marley, “Africa is Calling.” What does this song mean to you? How does Africa inspire you?

Africa is Calling” means a lot to me. I am very happy and honored that Ky-Mani liked the idea Born Free and I had for this song. We focused on having a message about the place where life began. We wanted to write about our motherland and to remind everyone of its history, beauty, people and its powerful energy.

I am the child of a German mother and African father. I grew up in Germany behind the wall and was always longing to see my African family since I didn’t get to grow up with them. So, that wish to see Africa and my family inspired many things, and then I finally went there. I visited Sierra Leone where my Dad is from. And now, I know even more, what I felt when I arrived there. I believe you understand better that we are all one after going to a place where everything began.

There are many people trying to improve conditions for African children when it comes to things like education, water and other chances to have a fair life. And through outreach projects and the experience to really see, taste and feell in love with the beauty of Africa and it’s people, we can continue to sing, help, pray, and send love to people and children living under difficult conditions and situations. Let us not forget them just because we in the western world think we are too busy with too many things we don’t really need.

Africa is calling and Africa is the future. I’ve actually done many songs for African causes, and I do it with all my heart. We are all Africans.

One of my favorite songs is “Beautiful Soul.” What was the inspiration behind this song?

Beautiful Soul” is inspired by a beautiful soul that I met in life. You know those souls you can trust, souls that want the best for you and souls that are happy when you have success in life? The song is about those souls that are able to love themselves and love you the way you are.  Souls that know everyone has to take an individual path with no room for jealousy, or mean and evil thoughts, there is space for everyone. There are a few souls in our lives that we can have a stronger connection with than others. So, it was my way of giving thanks for those beautiful souls I’ve met so far.

Your music also seems very feminine.

Growing up with a single mom and two big sisters, obviously, I had a lot female influence. I love being a woman and I know about the strength of women.

Mamadee with friend and fellow songstress, Tamika

There are many things I love about being a woman…for sure the fact that I hopefully will be blessed with a child or more is amazing. But, living as a woman in a mostly male dominated world, I know about disadvantages and situations where women have to prove, even more, our abilities.

Since I write most of my songs, they come out of my perspective and lyrics are inspired by my experience in life as a woman.

As an Afro-German woman born in the east of Germany behind the wall, as a human being going through the ups and downs in life and always trying to remind myself, what is really important, I know what it is to be happy and to share. I see how hard it is for a woman with kids and still working, managing all those things that go along with having children. Much respect to all the moms, especially single moms.

Congratulations on starting your tour with Gentleman! What do you love most about touring?

Being on the road is always a great experience for me. Gentleman is a great performer and entertainer. I Love being on the road with him and the band. We make the people feel good. I love to see the smiling faces and waving arms…that energy comes right back on stage to us and that is exactly what I love, the circle of sharing. Music is togetherness, so powerful.

And, yes, it is great to see many different countries on different continents. Meeting many different people from different cultures is a blessing and an inspiration and reminds you again that we are all one.

Finally, what does living unchained mean to you?

It is a great adventure. Typically, we don’t know what will come in the next moments or in the next months. But, when I look back, over a long time, I have been able to live from my passion of music and I am grateful. Whatever else comes, I will be fine.

Written by Kathryn Buford

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