Taarab music

545 Taarab songs with 72 234 monthly listeners

What is Taarab music?
Taarab is a genre of music that traces its roots to the East African Coast. It is a traditional sound influenced by the Swahili culture. It is a combination of beats and sounds pre-Islamic Swahili and Arab tunes performed in a poetic manner and with deep underlying messages forcing on various key issues in life including; relationships, family and money among others. It is a smooth type of music that requires less effort dancing to. It is mostly popular among women. It is an extremely lively art form, and immensely popular especially with women. It is somehow similar to zilizopendwa music which also hails from the East African Coast.

Where did Taarab come from?
While there are many theories regarding its origin, reliable sources indicate that it originated from the palace of the Sultan to Zanzibari. At the palace, the royal family would be treated to music during weddings and other community events. It is this music that later came to be referred to as Taarab. The genre went mainstream in 1928 thanks to the efforts of artists like Siti Binti Saad.

Over the years, it has grown in popularity in not only Kenya and Tanzania, but also other countries in Africa. In Tanzania, musicians like; Mzee Yusuph, Culture Musical Club, Bi Kidude, Zuhura Swaleh, Al-Watan Musical Club and Maulid Juma are considered pioneers of the genre. Their efforts created a foundation for a new set of artists who revolutionized the genre and came about with what is now referred to as modern Taarab.

Currently, you can’t mention this genre especially in Tanzania without featuring among others; the legendary Khadija Kopa, Mzee Yusuph, Rahma Machupa, Leyla Rashid, Omar Kopa, Jahazi Modern Taarab and Mashauzi Classic Modern Taarab. Like other genres, Taarab has undergone tremendous revolution, and being a traditional style, it lost prominence somewhere along the way as the younger generation focused on fast-paced music. Despite declining in prominence, artists like Khadija Kopa have stuck with the genre, opting to incorporate different aspects in a bid to make it more appealing especially to today’s generation.

She worked with Tanzania’s leading musician Diamond Platnumz on a song dubbed ‘Nasema Nawe’ and later worked with her daughter Zuchu on ‘Mauzauza’. Zuchu is currently among the top five female artists in Tanzania. She enjoys a huge following in Tanzania. Her decision to work with her mum on a Taarab song created an impression among the young that the genre is not that old-fashioned after all.

Which are the top songs in this genre?
Kwa Hilo Hujanikomoa - Mzee Yusuph
Mpenzi Chocolate - Mzee Yusuph
Siwaguni wala Siwakohoi - Fatma Nyoro
Nani Kama Mama - Isha Mashauzi
Acha Niwakere - Jahazi Modern
Mjini Chuo Kikuu - Khadija Kopa
Njiwa - Kitaa Records
Mkungu wa Ndizi - Q Chief ft TID
Umbea - Harun Deey
Riziki Aina Mwenyewe- Le Grand Utalii Band
Kunguni Mtu- Bluestars Modern

Who are the most popular artists in this genre
Some of the most popular artistes under this genre are:
Khadija Kopa
Mzee Yusuph
Isha Mashauzi
Jahazi Modern
Zuhura Swaleh
Bi Kidude
Siti Binti Saad
Matano Juma
Leyla Rashid
Seif Salim Saleh
Maulid Juma

In which countries is this genre most popular?
Kenya
Tanzania
Zanzibar
Nigeria
Uganda

Is it the leading genre in Tanzania?
In the early 90s it was one of the most listened to music in Tanzania. However, with the emergence of Bongo fleva, Singeli and bongo hip-hop, the genre has lost prominence, but it has not gone extinct.

Is it similar to Singeli?
Not really, Singeli is really fast and makes use of several traditional instruments. On the other hand, Taarab is slow, poetic and is meant to help you relax as you unwind. It is suitable for weddings and love-themed events. It is basically the music of love.

How to listen and download Taarab songs on Mdundo.com
These songs are available for free download and streaming on mdundo.com. To listen to this kind of music, visit mdundo.com and search for Taarab. A catalog of all available MP3 songs under the category will then be provided for you to select the ones you want. You can download/listen to the latest music on Mdundo through your phone, laptop or any other device that can access the internet.

Why choose mdundo.com?
Mdundo offers the latest MP3 songs for free streaming and download. All you need is a feature phone and you can start listening to some of the best songs from your top artists. Additionally, you can also enjoy DJ mixes specially curated to meet your needs. The songs are also easy to download and do not need a lot of data since they have been customized for users with feature phones.

Stream/Download new MP3 songs online. Find the latest Taarab music on Mdundo.com for free.

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