With a melting pot of calypso funk sounds and a deep-rooted sense of spirituality, Cymande (pronounced sah-man-day) were a 1970s fusion act who captured the spirit of London's multi-cultural communities and went on to inspire a generation of hip hop stars. The band were a group of self-taught West Indian immigrants led by bassist Steve Scipio, who mixed their Rastafarian beliefs, love of American soul and Caribbean roots into strutting, funky, colourful rhythms. Though under-appreciated by British audiences at the time, their single "The Message" did become a hit on the American R&B charts in 1972 and led to them supporting Al Green, Kool and the Gang and Mandrill and appearing on hit TV show Soul Train. Albums Cymande (1972), Second Time Round (1973) and Promised Heights (1974) became underground, record collector favourites, but it wasn't until their music was picked up by Deep House DJs in the 1980s and later sampled by hip hop acts such as De La Soul, The Fugees and Masta Ace, that their reputation began to grow. Director Spike Lee used their track "Bra" in his film Crooklyn (1994), Aswad covered "The Message" and the subsequent resurgence of interest in the band produced the popular anthology albums Nyah Rock (2003) and Renegades of Funk (2004), before they reformed in 2012 with a brand new album, A Simple Act of Faith, released in 2015.

Related Artists

Stations Featuring Cymande

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