Simba & Milton Gulli
Simba was born “Nelson Angelo Sitoi”in Maputo, and like everyone else in the country grew up with Portuguese as a first language. But, his desire to share his music with people beyond the country's borders meant rapping in English. Making history with his first album ‘Run and Tell your Mother ‘as the only hip hop album 100% English in Mozambique. Initially, this put him at a disadvantage in Mozambique, but by creating bridges between Hip Hop, Jazz, Afrobeat, and Funk, he's been able to overcome any reservations. He is still the only hip hop artist to have performed at the Mozambique Jazz Festival, Mozambique's largest music festival.
His music entered the South African scene via his single Lovely Day featuring Lizha James, this song was nominated for two categories on Channel O award , he also collaborated with Moreira Chonguica, winner of the Best Jazz Producer at the South African Music Awards.
Simba has also performed with Chris Dave, and was an opening act at Mos Def's show in Jo’burg, South Africa. Was also an opening act atVusi Mahlasela,Habib Koite, Dobet Gnahore’s show in Maputo CCFM.
Back home, Simba created the first hip hop live band in Mozambique, called Simba and the Rocats (The Rocats are a dub band). He now performs with a band called The Brown Band, and has started his own label Brown Records.
Now he is working with a Madagascan pianist Mota, in an interesting project that blendship hop and classic music.
Not bad for a young man in a country where hip hop and English are not really part of the everyday life.
In the pipelines
Simba is collaborating with DJ Kenzhero on a project called Jozambique mix tape. “Party People” is the first single from this project. On the remix he collaborated with HHP - a huge South African hip hop artist.
Mozambican musician/producer Milton Gulli spent his childhood in the suburbs of Lisbon and in Saudi Arabia where his father worked.
His teenage years saw the family living on Madeira Island. There he learned the first chords on a guitar, brought by his father one day, fiddling with his friends in school. He met Ricardo Bicho with whom he formed his first band Philharmonic Weed in 1997 together with his sister Marisa Gulli.
The hybrid sound of this band, a mix of reggae, funk, soul, afro music, earned them many prizes in band contests and turned them into a successful underground band with many followers, playing in Panama City in 2001 and in Rock In Rio Lisbon 2008 and doing a workshop with The Jamaican Allstars in Casa da Musica, Porto. Milton Gulli received numerous invites to be guest artist on many albums, mainly by hip-hop acts from the Lisbon area, like for example: Sam The Kid, XEG, Sagaz and with the reggae band Mercado Negro. Milton was also invited to play guitar in the Marcelo D2 show in Festival Sudoeste, in Portugal, in 2006.
In 2005 Milton was invited to be the lead singer, alongside Marga Munguambe, of the already famous band Cool Hipnoise. This group was the first acid jazz, funky, soul act in Portugal.
2006 saw the release of the Cool Hipnoise album where Milton sang most of the songs. They played on festivals all over Europe.
Also in 2005 he formed the afrobeat collective Cacique ‘97 with musician/producer Gonçalo Oliveira and some of the members of Philharmonic Weed and Cool Hipnoise. This orchestra of 12 musicians released their record in 2009 and had huge impact on world music media, being referred to as one of the strongest afrobeat bands in Europe, according to okayplayer.com.
The' Grasspoppers' Artistic Collective started as an idea in 2003, uniting the minds of fellow artists in the areas of music, film, photography, design and blogging. The idea materialized itself when some of the musicians of Milton’s circle of friends decided to compose and record an album in a week. That was how “The Grasspoppers Presents Dub Inna Week” came to life in 2010 and offered for free download. In 2011 they’ve decided to do it again and released “The Grasspoppers Presents Lovers Rock Inna Week” also as a free download.
In 2011 Milton decided to go back to the roots and relocated to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, where he started working with the rapper Simba on an African tribute to A Tribe Called Quest, due to be released on BBE Records in 2013.