Known to her fans as Zap Mama, Marie Daulne began as the leader and founder of a female vocal polyphonic quintet that succeeded worldwide and has since evolved into a variety of configurations approaching Urban, Jazz, American Soul and Afro-Pop Music styles. Redefining the term “vocalist” Marie Daulne is more than a singer; she is a sonic stylist, who alternates between storytelling and creative vocal expression. Using the organic tone of the human voice, Zap Mama has developed her sound for over 20 years, inspiring diverse audiences around the world.
Born in East Zaire, during the Congo Crisis, Marie lost her Belgian father to the Simba rebels only days after her birth. Shortly after his death she was flown with her Congolese mother and siblings to Belgium where traditional Congolese songs and culture remained present. The loving Belgian family of her father exposed her to liturgical music and Walloon popular songs. As an adolescent, Marie also trained athletics in track and field, proving to be a powerful athlete which is still evident in her live performances.
Following a return visit to the Congo in her early 20‘s, Marie was inspired to sing and create music. Seamlessly blending African, American, and European cultural influences, this Belgian-Congolese diva has a unique vocal style. Zap Mama’s genre connects the citizens of the world through sound. Her poly-phonic arrangements use the voice as an instrument creating VOCAL GROOVE’s that reinterpret the sound of Urban, Afro-scat and Alternative Funk music.
In the early 80’s, Hip-Hop culture arrived in Europe and inspired Marie’s body and soul. She began experimenting with beatboxing, rap and graffiti and training in acrobatic choreography. Marie discovered her artistic personality and started her studies at «Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels» (La Cambre). While studying visual arts Marie also attended modern dance classes and trained circus acrobatics, developing her choreography skills and swinging between artistic mediums.
In 1987, Marie began studying jazz in Antwerp and by 1989 she was teaching, developing compositions for an a cappella quintet.
In the 90’s, Marie auditioned singers and founded the Afro-European vocal quintet ZAP MAMA.
Signing with the Belgian label «CRAMMED DISCS» (Sony Music), in 1991, Zap Mama was receiving international attention.
By 1992, David BYRNE of «Talking Heads» signed Zap Mama with his label «LUAKA BOP» (Warner) in the USA.
As new inspiration arrived, Zap Mama's music began to incorporate a myriad of genres, particularly those of the African diaspora combined with a unique mix of Euro-American traditions.
As their success grew, the quintet was invited to prestigious stages around the world, including the MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL (CH), NORTH SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL (NL), WOMAD (AU, NZ, UK), GLASTONBURY (UK) and many others.
In the US, Zap Mama’s first album was announced at the top of the BILLBOARD CHART’s for 21 weeks in The World Album category. Also during this time Marie discovered the music of the movie «Métisse» by Mathieu Kassovitz, and with her brother Jean-Louis, Marie began to expand her skills with improving beatbox, breakdance and participating in activities with the community of Parisian Circus artists.
Zap Mama’s 1st record, «ADVENTURES IN AFROPEA», was nominated for a GRAMMY AWARD for the Best World Music album in 1994.
Invited to perform with the NEVILLE BROTHERS, Al JARREAU and Bobby MCFERRIN, Zap Mama toured through the USA, Japan and Europe. Appearing on numerous TV shows and stations, including «TARATATA» on French TV, «LATER... with JOOLS HOLLAND» on British television, as well as the «THE ARSENIO HALL SHOW» and «SESAME STREET» in the US, BBC NEWS and ABC network, Zap Mama’s presence reached many audiences worldwide.
In 1995, Marie Daulne signed, co-created and performed for an advertisement for COCA COLA that was broadcast worldwide during the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. Taking center stage as the lead vocalist of Zap Mama, Marie’s music took on a more Urban influence and stepped away from a cappella in 1996. Collaborating with numerous artists including BLACK THOUGHT and QUESTLOVE (The Roots), SPEECH (Arrested Development) and MANU DIBANGO, Zap Mama started her tour singing and playing in big concert halls all over the USA. With concerts in the New Orleans and New York City "House Of Blues" the "Hollywood Bowl" in Los Angeles and "Fillmore Theatre" in San Francisco, her shows were SOLD OUT. This 4 year-long tour reached around the world enchanting audiences in the US, Africa, Australia and Northern Europe.
In 2000, Marie moved to New York where her career took off. With composer Hans ZIMMER and producer Tom CRUISE. Marie worked on soundtrack for the PARAMOUNT movie «MISSION IMPOSSIBLE II» which included her cover version for track «IKO IKO». This new version of « IKO IKO » was recorded in Beverly Hills and included in Zap Mama’s 4th album « AMAZONE ».
The 5th album « ANCESTRY IN PROGRESS » was recorded in Philadelphia and produced by the band THE ROOTS. Featuring Grammy Music Award winners Erykah BADU, Talib KWELI, COMMON, BILAL, QUESTLOVE and BAHAMADIA, it represents a combination of Afro-European spirit and Afro-American spirit. On THE BILLBOARD CHARTS it struck first place and stayed in the top 20 for several weeks.
The 6th, more intimate album, «SUPERMOON», summarizing her experiences of the previous 15 years, was recorded in New York. Marie invited star musicians including David GILMORE, Meshell NDEGEOCELLO and many others. During this time Marie also worked with ARNO and THE ROYAL OPERA CHILDREN’s CHOIR OF «LA MONNAIE» (Belgium’s National Opera in Brussels).
In 2010, Zap Mama’s 7th album «RECREATION» was nominated for Outstanding World Music Album by NAACP Image Awards. Album featured G. LOVE («Drifting») and Marie’s friend and French actor Vincent CASSEL with whom she recorded a cover of the French song «Paroles, Paroles») in BRAZIL.
Taking on new challenges, Marie began to perform at special events as the "Afro-European Diva". Singing a repertoire of Anglophone, Francophone, Latin and African songs while suspended 10 meters above the ground, Zap Mama performed at galas for the European Union and at the "Best of Belgium" (biggest tennis exhibition starring Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters).
In addition to her musical endeavors, Zap Mama has worked with humanitarian aid organizations Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International, CARE and the United Nations, using her music to bring about awareness.
At the 2011 SOUL TRAIN MUSIC AWARDS, Zap Mama was honored and graciously accepted the invitation from founder and creator Don CORNELIUS to participate in a tribute performance honoring Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, «Earth, Wind & Fire». Zap Mama was the 1st European “Afro-pean” artist to be involved in the Soul Train Music project.
In 2012, Marie Daulne was invited for guest performance with SLY & ROBBIE in Los Angeles at THAT 70’s SOUL event, celebrating soul music legends. During most recent years, Zap Mama continues touring around the world.
Besides numerous concerts in USA, Mexico, Russia and Europe, in 2013, Zap Mama performed at event celebrating 20 YEARS OF CARE in ATLANTA.
Celebrating her 20-year career, Zap Mama recorded her 8th album in two volumes, «ECLECTIC FLASH vol.I» and «FLASHBACK TO PRESENT vol.II». Returning to her roots, Marie features her trademark of pure vocal sound, sharing her core passion and essence of Zap Mama's music. With this album Marie says, "Everyone has a voice, a sound to be heard" and introduces the new Zap Mama’s concept, Vocal Flash Mob Concert. Marie invites the audience to join her show by singing as a choir and experiencing the collective intelligence during the concert. It’s all about the unity of the musical ingenuity. Marie also offers vocal MASTER CLASSES and has established the VOCAL GROOVE CHOIR to encourage fans and vocal enthusiasts in cities around the globe to sing.
The first single from the new album, entitled «WE GO», vividly echoing strength and unity, is a soundtrack for expanding possibilities. It evokes self-confidence and inspires us to listen, feel the waves and flow. Rhythm brings people together with our connection through time and tone. With empowering lyrics, a rising chorus and invigorating horns, the alluring groove features legendary Jamaican producers and players SLY & ROBBIE, Sly Dunbar (drums) and Robert Shakespeare (bass).