Time: September 26, 2009 at 9pm to September 27, 2009 at 2am
Location: Cafe Du Nord
Street: 2174 Market St
City/State: SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Phone: (415) 861-5016
Event Type: concert, afrobeat, funk, afro-rock, afro-brazilian
Organized By: Sila
Latest Activity: Sep 24, 2009
As a child growing up in a small village in Kenya, Sila remembers tuning in to a shortwave radio for the latest pop offerings from the West. By way of a faint, crackling radio signal, Sila first became acquainted with the guttural howls and shrieks of the Minister of Funk, James Brown.
“One of the first James Brown songs I remember hearing on shortwave radio was ‘I Feel Good.’ Growing up very poor in my village and having a song like that play on the radio was very inspiring,” Sila, says.
His exposure to James Brown, along with such artists as the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley, inspired Sila to pursue music, which he says was far from a well-respected profession in Africa.
Despite his career choice, his parents supported his decision and sold cows and goats to raise money for his send-off to the U.S.
Sila’s pursuit of musical stardom was met with the heartbreak of rejection and he eventually found himself lost, an imposter of sorts, singing pedestrian pop tunes while trying to mask a heavy Kenyan accent.
It wasn’t until he stumbled upon a sold-out show by African artist Baaba Maal at the Fillmore that he realized he needed to change course.
“This was the first African artist I saw in concert singing in his own language. He was so full of life. This was the most touching experience for me and I was almost in tears. I had really forgotten who I was,” he says.
Embracing his African roots and his love of funk, Sila channeled James Brown for inspiration and six years later, with the help of his renowned cast of bandmates, he’s achieved success without having to compromise his heritage (he sings in both Swahili and English) or his musical tastes.
“James Brown has always been someone who’s influenced me quite a bit. From his perseverance to his political life and his very poor background, it’s all been an inspiration to me. … His determination and the fact that he never gave up — I see that in me,” Sila says.
“When I came here I never imagined I would sell out venues and entertain people in a way that James Brown entertained me. Believe me, I’m not saying I’m the next James Brown, but I do feel he’s in the soul of music.” - SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER
CHECK OUT THE NEW MUSIC AT HTTP://SILABAND.COM
When: Saturday, September 26, 9pm
Who: Sila, DJ Santero, Dj Jeremiah and the Afrobeat Nation
Where: Cafe Du Nord, 2174 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114-1319
Tickets: $10 available at http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=2419524 or call (415) 861-5016