Kasai Masai’s music reflects their journey from the rural to the urban world, performing music which has been passed on from generation to generation combined with their own contemporary style.
Written in Swahili, Lingala and Kimongo, Kasai Masai’s lyrics portray the cultural diversity of Congo where more than four hundred languages are spoken.
Kasai Masai’s original compositions have moved beyond traditional expectations of Congolese music with their galloping rhythms, strong melodies, passionate beats, swinging guitars and soaring saxophones.
“Kasai Masai successfully marry a respect for vintage grooves with an overwhelming urge to move the dance floor this is the sound of the old and new, of the countryside and the city, from deep in the heart of Africa…”
– Nige Tassell—Womad Festival
Kasai Masai is led by percussionist, singer and dancer Nickens Nkoso. Nickens is a well known figure on the world music circuit. He has worked alongside international Congolese artists including Kanda Bongo Man, Koffi Olomide, Papa Wemba, Madilu System, Canta Nyboma, Mose Fan Fan and Sam Mapangala. In the UK he has been a member of Safroman’s All in One, Koko Kanyinda’s Soukous Koumbele, Robert Maseko’s Congo Beat, Mongo Ley’s Les Zaza, Muana Mousa’s Banda Banda, Nsimba Foggis’ Taxi Pata Pata, Micky Djo Lusala’s Soukous Gang, and Baboma.
Nickens has appeared at many UK and international festivals and events including Glastonbury, Womad Reading, Womad Gran Canaria, Weltnacht in Germany, The African Nations Cup in Tunisia 2004, Womad Adelaide 2006, and toured with Kanda Bongo Man in Kenya and Ethiopia. TV & Radio: Nickens has performed on Later with Jools Holland, Andy Kershaw’s world music radio show, the John Peel sessions, BBC3 World Music Day, Resonance FM amongst others.
Kasai Masai is an established international band who have performed at many festivals including RainForest Festival in Malaysia, Oman World Music Festival, World Music Festival in Bahrain, Zain Party in Spain, Clonmel Festival in the Republic of Ireland and World Music LX09 in Portugal, to name but a few.