The Story Behind ‘Mama‘ the Music Video – Title Track from the Spring 2023 EP
Written by Liz Ikamba
I am so very pleased to announce the release of the long-awaited music video for my debut EP title track ‘Mama’ on 12th May, just a couple of weeks before the full EP release on May 26th.
The video has been a labour of love of over a year, and collaboration with the incredibly talented Jeremy Stewart of stillandmoving.tv, and was produced by Dylan Harvey.
Mama is a song very close to my heart and is the first song I ever wrote in Lingala (DR Congo). It’s a dedication to my late Mum Georgina, who travelled to Congo to work as a midwife, where she also met my Dad Wangoy and started our family.
It was written for her when she was close to leaving this world, and I will never forget the connective moments when I played the first version of the song to her on her death bed. It’s been over a decade for me to feel ready to share this through my creative work, and doing so has helped me to tap into some vital and healing discoveries. Producing the song and video have not only offered a way to remember her, but also given a chance to honour my own process with grief; which I have come to understand as a universal experience that should to be shared in community, rather than undergone in isolation.
The video pulls together family archive images, footage of the record being created in the Sussex countryside alongside members of AfroJazz outfit Matondology, some of my own original artworks, and the signature animation of Jeremy of stillandmoving.tv.
The narrative portrays mine and my family’s journey from DR Congo to the UK when I was a small child, also speaking to the experience of ‘transitions’ in a metaphorical and wider sense. It includes images of immediate as well as wider family, many of whom I haven’t seen for years and who have migrated from Congo to different parts of the globe. It also playfully depicts me travelling around in a blue beetle car, which was the first family vehicle we had back in Congo; a fond and resonant memory from my early childhood.
Despite being about heavy subjects of dealing with change, loss and grief, I wanted the video to have a fun and light hearted feel, to also reflect the joy and love I was lucky enough to experience growing up, despite challenges. Working with Jeremy @stillandmoving.tv and incorporating his animation style and creative approach definitely helped to bring out this message, as well as some welcome, bold and colourful surprises!
Mama was recorded in my current home on a farm in the Sussex countryside alongside members of London-based Afrojazz outfit, and Congolese music veterans Matondology. Having access to this inspiring space and being close to nature massively inspired the creation, quality and all-round vibe of the EP as a whole, and also helped to bring me healing through the process of producing and sharing such a personal story.
A special thanks to my family as well as my talented collaborators and brothers from Matondology, who helped to bring this music-from-the-soul to life; including George Ikamba, Mulele Matondo, Kissangwa Musikkongo, Serge Kadima, Jethro Mogratana and Yves Bampelanga.